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Young Romford people urged to stay safe

Safety advisers are out and about this week teaching young people about the potential dangers of electricity.

From Press releases - 16 June 2014 12:00 AM

Safety advisers are out and about this week teaching young people about the potential dangers of electricity.

The team from UK Power Networks, which owns and operates the electricity networks in the East of England, London and the South East, work across the regions helping people to stay safe. They are meeting 11-year-old school children at a Junior Citizen Scheme event at Romford TA centre in London Road.

The three-week event, which is organised by the Metropolitan Police, runs from today (Monday, June 16) to Friday (July 4) and the Crucial Crew scheme also involves emergency services and other agencies promoting key safety messages. School children from the Dagenham area will be visiting during the first week of the scheme, and children from Havering will visit for the latter two weeks.

The company uses an interactive “ghost box” storytelling device to tell why you must not go into electricity substations or ignore “danger” signs. The stories include that of a boy electrocuted after ignoring warning signs and retrieving his ball from a substation, plus the potential dangers of flying kites and carrying fishing rods near high voltage power lines.

Sonya Keating, UK Power Networks’ lead public safety adviser, said: “Fortunately accidents are rare but this is an exciting way of getting the safety message across, using six short, real-life scenarios, followed by a quiz that could help to save their lives.

“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, giving 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 it enables them to make the decisions that keep them safe.”

UK Power Networks has created a Power Up website to help raise awareness of these issues amongst schools and educational groups. It is aimed at students aged seven to 16 and is packed full of fun facts, quizzes, downloads and useful information and resources for teachers and parents in line with the National Curriculum.

Public safety is a feature of UK Power Networks’ plan for future electricity services 2015-2023. Industry regulator Ofgem will use this to decide funding.

UK Power Networks encourages customers to view the plan in full on its website here.

Did you know?
• High voltage electricity can jump across gaps - keep well clear and stay safe
• Human bodies contain 70% water and water conducts electric current really well
• Electric current flows more easily through water than through air so if you get too close to power lines or a substation, the electricity could pass through the water content of your body as it tries to find the easiest way to get to the ground. You could get an electric shock and might even die. Electricity in the home can also be dangerous if you don't respect it
• Electricity will always find the easiest path to the ground – always carry fishing rods, ladders or any other long objects horizontally.
• If you are out an about enjoying recreational activities such as kite flying or fishing always remember Look Up! Look Out! Check for overhead electricity wires.
• Electricity can kill. Don’t ignore the warning signs.