When the weather begins to warm up, kids and adults alike will head outside to perform winter clean-up and play. Before they do, remind them to look up and be alert for power lines and other electrical hazards, the best way to stay safe from electrocution—and even death.

“Here at Access Energy Cooperative, using proper procedures and safety measures is a matter of life and death,” explains Don Roach, Director of Operations. “We take safety seriously at home, too. Accidents happen, but if we educate ourselves and our children, we can keep them to a minimum.”

For kids

  • Never fly a kite on a rainy day or anywhere but an open space. A high point in the sky makes a kite a grounding point for lightning, and kites could easily become tangled in power lines.
  • Don’t climb trees that are near power lines and poles—evergreens can disguise dangers this time of year.
  • Stay far away from power lines lying on the ground. You can’t tell if electricity is still flowing through them. If there’s water nearby, don’t go in it. Water is the best conductor of electricity.
  • Obey signs that say “danger” and “keep out” around large electrical equipment, like substations. These signs aren’t warnings; they’re commands to keep you safe.
  • Never climb a power pole.

For adults

  • If power lines run through your trees, call professional tree trimmers with proper protective equipment who can trim branches safely.
    Remember that power lines and other utilities run underground, too. Call 811 to have utility lines marked before you start digging.
    Starting that winter cleanup yard work? Sweep dried leaves and debris from outdoor receptacles.
  • If they’re not already, consider upgrading your outdoor receptacles—or any outlets that could come in contact with water—to ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs immediately interrupt power flow when a plugged-in device comes in contact with water. Regardless, keep your outlets and cords dry and covered outside.
  • Use only weather-resistant, heavy-duty extension cords marked for outdoor use.
  • Don’t leave outdoor power tools unattended for curious children or animals to find.

For more safety tips and information, visit SafeElectricity.org.

Sources: Electrical Safety Foundation International, Safe Electricity

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