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School’s out for summer – so play safe!

Thousands of school children start their summer holidays this week and safety advisers are urging them to enjoy it safely.

From Press releases - 19 July 2017 12:00 AM

Kite in substation.jpg

With the promise of warm weather and long days, there is plenty of scope to be outside enjoying the fresh air, whether it be camping, kite-flying, fishing or field sports.

Safety experts at UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity to the East of England, London and the South East, are warning youngsters to ‘Look out and look up’ before they pitch their tents or cast their nets to make sure they are not near any overhead electricity lines.

Ros Forbes, public safety and education adviser, said: “I can remember how excited I used to feel not having school for six weeks and planning all the things I was going to do – but we want all the youngsters to enjoy their leisure time safely.

“Cables and power lines can carry anything from 230 volts to 132,000 volts and even coming into contact with the lowest voltage cables can be fatal so the main advice is to steer well clear of any overhead power lines, or indeed any electrical equipment such as substations.”

The UK Power Networks’ safety team gives regular demonstrations at Crucial Crew safety events and county shows to spread the safety message and Ros is hoping the youngsters they have met will remember the powerful safety message throughout the summer holidays.

“Put very simply, our message is to be very aware of the environment around you. If you’re near an overhead line or electrical equipment, take extra care and move further away. Electricity can jump across gaps – just like lightning – and it can kill you.”

Other top safety tips include:

• Always Look Up and around for overhead electricity wires before kite flying, climbing trees, fishing or carrying long objects
• Anglers should take their rods apart before moving from one place to another and to carry them parallel to the ground
• If a kite electrical wires or equipment, let go of the string or any attached control wire immediately. Don’t attempt to touch the string to pull the kite free – high-voltage electricity can travel down string
• Campers should avoid, if at all possible, pitching their tent or caravan directly under or close to an overhead power line. Metal and carbon fibre tent poles, guy lines, TV aerial poles and almost every other long object can conduct electricity.
• Campers and caravanners should never attach or tie anything to power line wooden poles, pylons or electrical equipment and never light a fire under an overhead line as the heat from the fire could cause the wires to sag dangerously low or break.
UK Power Networks has a Power Up website to raise awareness of the safety issues. It is aimed at young people aged between seven and 16 and has facts, quizzes, downloads and resources for teachers and parents in line with the National Curriculum.

The company website also has several downloadable leaflets containing safety advice on a range of topics including angling, kite-flying, camping and caravanning, which are available here.

Ros added: “These guides are very useful and not only cover do’s and don’ts, but also dispel a few myths like thinking you’re protected because you’re wearing rubber boots!”