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Powerful safety lesson for Cobham schoolchildren

Hundreds of schoolchildren in Cobham will be learning from safety advisers about the dangers of fooling around with electricity.

From Press releases - 29 June 2015 12:00 AM

Hundreds of schoolchildren in Cobham will be learning from safety advisers about the dangers of fooling around with electricity.

Safety experts from UK Power Networks, the company which owns and maintains the electricity network in Kent, will use an interactive illusion device to tell a story which urges young people to treat power cables and substations with respect.

A variety of practical safety sessions, run by the emergency services and others, are taking place for 1,100 schoolchildren from 27 primary schools at Cobham Hall School, Cobham, Gravesend, from today (June 29) until July 10. The groups are joining forces as part of Salus which aims to improve the lives of young people in Kent.

UK Power Networks’ “ghost box” educates schoolchildren about why they should never go into electricity substations or ignore yellow danger signs. It tells a story about a boy who dies after ignoring warning signs and retrieving his ball from a substation. There are also warnings about the dangers of flying kites and carrying fishing rods near high voltage overhead electricity cables.

UK Power Networks’ safety adviser, Ros Forbes, said: “Schoolchildren have become more sophisticated and now require an exciting device that will engage them, capture their imaginations and keep them involved in the learning process. Our ghost box models were specially made for us and, using an old music hall technique involving semi-silvered mirrors, give the impression of the ghosts’ heads floating in front of a street scene.

“It helps them to understand how dangerous electricity can be if it’s not treated with respect and also recognise the danger signs to enable them to make the decisions that keep them safe.”

Martin Carter, projects adviser at Salus, said: “We couldn’t run this event without the support of the other agencies involved to whom I’m really grateful. The children really enjoy their visit and learn valuable safety lessons to last their whole lifetime.”

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.

Did you know?
• High-voltage electricity can jump across gaps - keep well clear
• Human bodies contain 70% water and water conducts electric current really well. Ignoring the danger signs could result in an electric shock or death.
• If you are kite flying or fishing Look Up! Look Out! Check for overhead electricity wires
• Electricity will always find the easiest path to the ground – always carry fishing rods, ladders or any other long objects horizontally