Families urged to stay safe this summer

With the school summer holidays approaching, UK Power Networks is urging families to ensure they stay safe around high voltage electricity when seeking fun in the sun.

The UK’s biggest electricity distributor has compiled a set of summer safety tips outlining the potential dangers and the need to take care near overhead power lines.

The company, which distributes electricity to 8.4 million homes and businesses across London, the South East and East of England, wants all household members to heed the warnings.

With the staycation trend of recent years likely to continue amid possible airport disruption for those travelling overseas, the advice takes in a range of countryside activities such as pitching a tent and kite flying where looking out and looking up for overhead lines is essential.

The company is also stressing that substations should never be seen as potential play areas and people should never climb into these sites to retrieve items such as balls.

Debbie Chachulski, Safety Advisor says: “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.”

Six top tips to stay safe around electricity during the summer months include:

  • If possible avoid pitching tents or caravans directly under or close to an overhead power lines especially at pop-up sites
  • If flying a kite or drone keep well away from overhead lines to avoid contact with high voltage electricity
  • 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 enter a substation site to retrieve anything, be it a ball or even something more valuable like a dropped phone, because nothing is more costly than serious injury or even death. Substation sites should never be used by children as a hiding place or den
  • If 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

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