As the weather gets warmer, naturally the kids are ready to head outdoors to play. After all, there are trees to climb, kites to fly, balls to kick or toss, and playground equipment to crawl through.
However, before you send your kids outside to have fun, make sure they are aware of electrical dangers that could put a deadly halt to playtime.
Share these messages with your children and also take precautions to ensure play areas are located in safe areas:
- Fly kites far from power lines and other electrical equipment. Instead fly them in large open parks or fields. That’s because a kite string caught in an electric line can conduct electricity from an overhead line directly to the person holding the string.
- Don’t climb trees near power lines. A tree tangled in a power line can energize the tree with electricity and lead to electric shock or the death of the person climbing the tree.
- Stay away from the electrical service connection to your home (where the electrical wire goes into the house). One dangerous area is close to a swimming pool because pool skimmers are often long enough to reach the connection line if the line is close by.
- Pad-mounted transformers are dangerous. These are green metal boxes that contain the above-ground portion of an underground electrical installation. These transformers carry high voltages and are safe when locked, but they can be deadly if someone reaches inside. If you see one in your neighborhood that is open, call authorities and your electric cooperative immediately.
- Electrical substations are deadly. If a ball or other toy enters the fence surrounding the substation, call us at our electric cooperative for help. Substations hold enormous amounts of electricity and should only be entered by professionals.
Taking these measures in your yard also protects your children from electrical dangers:
- Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) on all outdoor outlets to prevent electric shock.
- Store long-handled tools out of reach of children so they will not be tempted to or accidentally hit an overhead power line.
- Recognize that trees and power lines don’t mix. Don’t plant trees near power lines, and if there is a tree that has grown into a power line, call a professional to trim the tree.