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Family Safety Week: Look Out and Look Up

As more families head outside to enjoy the warmer weather, they are being urged to be vigilant and stay safe around electricity.

The warning coincides with this year’s Family Safety Week (2 – 8 May).

Every year, WPD is called to hundreds of incidents where members of the public, including children, have been injured, sometimes seriously, after coming into contact with electricity.

Popular family activities such as camping or fishing can be dangerous, if there is electrical equipment nearby.

Anyone fishing is urged to look up and look out for power lines. Many fishing rods and poles are made from materials that conduct electricity, or allow electricity to flow along them when wet.
If these touch or come into contact with a power line, then electrical currents can pass to people nearby and lead to injury or even death. 

When camping, families are reminded never to pitch a tent close to power lines.
Festival flags and tents are usually made from carbon fibre or similar materials that are good conductors of electricity.

Electricity can jump short distances through the air when at higher voltages which poses a danger to people who camp too close to high voltage power lines.

When outside, children should never play near substations as these contain high voltage equipment that can kill.

If a friend, pet or toy gets stuck in a substation, they should not try and rescue them, but instead should keep calm and immediately call WPD’s emergency number on 105.

Eddie Cochrane, WPD Health and Safety Adviser, said: “Safety is a number one priority for WPD, so it is vital to stay vigilant and carry out some quick checks so everyone stays safe.

“One of the most important things is to stay away from overhead lines and substations. For instance, if a kite, ball or other object comes into contact with an overhead line or goes into a substation, you should let go, keep clear and call WPD.”

He added: “It’s important for all of us to have fun and spend time outside but it’s also important to follow a few simple rules to stay safe.”

Some simple rules are:
1. Stay away from overhead lines and never fly kites or model aircraft close to them. If a kite does come into contact with a power line, let go, keep clear and call WPD’s 105 emergency number.
2. Keep a lookout for yellow warning signs as they are usually located on or near a power line.
3. Never try to rescue a family member, friend or pet who has come into contact with electricity. Stay clear and call WPD.
4.  Do not climb trees close to power lines. There is a risk of serious injury or even death.
5. Never enter electricity substations. These contain high voltage equipment which can kill. If a person or pet is trapped inside, stay clear and contact WPD.