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Warm, sunny days beckon the child in all of us to head outside and play. Your electric co-op recommends that families review and stress to children to follow simple electrical safety rules for safe outdoor play.
Help keep your kids out of harm’s way when they play outdoors. Children often do not understand the dangers of electricity. Make them aware of overhead power lines and electrical equipment, and emphasize that they should never climb or play near them.
We recommend children be taught to follow these rules:
• Never climb trees near power lines. Even if the power lines are not touching the tree, they could touch when more weight is added to a branch.
• Fly kites and model airplanes in large open areas such as a park or a field, safely away from trees and overhead power lines. If a kite gets stuck in a tree that’s near power lines, don’t climb up to get it. Contact your electric cooperative for assistance.
• Never climb a utility pole or tower.
• Don’t play on or around pad-mounted electrical equipment.
• Never go into an electric substation for any reason. Electric substations contain high-voltage equipment that can be deadly. Never try to rescue a pet or retrieve a toy that goes inside. Call your co-op instead.
When designing an outdoor play area for your children, do not install playground equipment or swimming pools underneath or near power lines. Protect all family members from serious shock and injuries by installing and using outdoor outlets with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Use portable GFCIs for outdoor outlets that don’t have them. Be careful when using electrical appliances outdoors, even if plugged into GFCI-equipped outlets.
Water always attracts kids, but water and electricity never mix. Teach older children to exercise caution before plugging in a radio, CD player or any electrical gadget outdoors, and keep all electrical appliances at least 10 feet away from hot tubs, pools, ponds, puddles and wet surfaces.
Spring showers bring more than tempting puddles for kids to splash in, they can also leave behind electric hazards. Flooded areas are never safe spots to wade or play in, and may be in contact with energized electrical equipment or fallen power lines.
Make sure all of your family members know to stay away from downed power lines and wires, and tell children to report to an adult any fallen or dangling wires.