Step into summer and stay safe is the message, as SUFFOLK school children begin their break and families have fun in the sun.
UK Power Networks, the country’s biggest electricity distributor, wants youngsters to have a good time during the holidays but to keep away from electricity substations and overhead high voltage cables.
Inspired by the Women’s World Cup or Wimbledon, kicking footballs and hitting tennis balls can be hazardous near overhead power lines or an electricity substation, so can wild camping, caravanning and fishing, drone or kite flying.
For example, model planes and drones can travel at very high speeds. If they strike a power line or crash into a substation, they can potentially damage an important piece of equipment and cause a power cut for local residents.
Although playing near substations should always be avoided, sometimes toys and balls can get stuck inside the fence. It is important that you do not try and retrieve the items yourself, even if they look like they are in reach. The company, which distributes electricity to 8.5 million homes and businesses across London, the South East and East of England, wants all household members to enjoy their holidays and can safely retrieve lost items on request.
Top tips to stay safe around electricity during the summer months include:
- If your kite or other toy heads towards a power line, drop the control or string immediately because electricity can jump across gaps and travel down to you.
- Anglers who use long carbon fibre fishing poles, are reminded to always ‘Look Out, Look Up’ for overhead power lines before setting down to fish. Electricity can jump across gaps so always carry poles horizontally and parallel with the ground.
- Never climb a tree that’s near overhead lines as they carry high voltage electricity, and branches can make contact with the cables.
- When camping, never attach or tie anything to electricity poles, pylons or electrical equipment and never light a fire under an overhead line as heat could cause the wires to sag or break.
- If hosting an outdoor event be careful where you site small marquees to avoid contact with overhead power lines and never attach anything to awnings or canopies.
- If you lose any property inside a substation fence, do not try and retrieve it. Call UK Power Networks on 105 and an engineer will safely collect it for you.
Debbie Chachulski, safety advisor said: “With the summer holidays almost here and schools breaking up, we want everybody to enjoy the break, but would always urge people to do so safely and be mindful about when they need to think about electricity.
“We are encouraging people to be aware of their surroundings as there are risks posed by overhead power lines. These lines can carry anything from 230 volts to 132,000 volts and even coming into contact with the lowest voltage cables can be fatal.”
The company, which distributes electricity to 8.4 million homes and businesses across London, the South East and East of England, has a range of safety advice and videos on its website: Safety advice and resources | UK Power Networks