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Fly high – but fly safe this summer

Kite flyers are being urged to enjoy their pastime safely this summer and be aware of overhead power lines.

From Press releases - 26 July 2017 12:00 AM

UK Power Networks, the company that runs the electricity network across London, the South East and East of England, has issued a timely reminder to “look out and look up” as families and enthusiasts prepare to take part in a string of kiting events over the summer and autumn months,  including:

• July 29 and 30 – 17th Dunstable Downs Kite Festival, Whipsnade Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
• August 6 – Wind in your Sails, Betteshangar Country Park, Deal, Kent
• August 6 – Royston Rotary Charity Kite Festival, Therfield Heath, Royston, Hertfordshire
• August 13 and 14 – Teston 30th Anniversary Weekend, Teston Bridge Country Park, Teston Lane, near Maidstone, Kent
• August 20 – 21st Hunstanton Kite and Classic Car Festival, Hunstanton, Norfolk
• August 26 to 28 – 3rd Bognor Regis Kite festival, West Park, Bognor Regis, West Sussex
• September 2 and 3: Kites up the Creek, Milton Creek Country Park, Sittingbourne, Kent
• September 10 – Layer Marney Kite Festival, Layer Marney Tower, Colchester, Essex
• September 17 – Wick Country Park Kite Festival, Wickford, Essex
• September 24 – UK Phoenix Kite Collective Fly-In, Whipsnade Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

UK Power Networks operates more than 65,300 kilometres of overhead lines carrying power to homes and businesses at anything from 240 to 132,000 volts.

Emma Palmer, UK Power Networks’ safety, engagement and education adviser, said: “The summer and autumn months are popular times for families and youngsters to enjoy bright and blustery days flying kites. While we want everybody to have fun, it’s vital they know not to fly kites near power lines.

“Electricity can jump across gaps – just like lightning – and it can kill. People often don’t spot the danger when flying a kite near overhead lines so our message is always ‘look out and look up’. Many kites now have very long strings and it’s easy to misjudge distances, the consequences of which could be fatal.”

If your kite touches a power cable:

• 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
• Keep yourself and others well away
• If a kite or anything else makes contact with an overhead line, do not try to retrieve it. If you leave it hanging and say nothing, someone else could get hurt or even killed by touching the string so contact UK Power Networks immediately on our 24-hour helpline 0800 316 3105 (or 0333 323 2105 if you’re calling from a mobile) and we will send a trained professional to remove it safely.