As children grow up, it’s important to teach them some basic electricity safety lessons so that they can avoid electrical dangers both indoors and outdoors. Even though most schools make electrical safety part of their curriculum, it’s still vital to reinforce what your child may (or may not) have learned about keeping safe
If you have children under your care, make sure that they memorize these 8 crucial lessons about staying safe when it comes to electricity.
1. Electrical outlets are only for plugging in electrical devices--nothing else.
Children may be fascinated by a wall outlet and try to stick their fingers, sticks, or toys into the slots. This is very dangerous and can lead to electric shock.
2. Keep electrical devices and appliances away from water.
Tell your children to keep electrical devices and appliances away from water (such as a bathtub or pool) and to NEVER touch an electrical device, outlet, or switch with wet hands. This includes smartphones, especially if they are charging. Water is a powerful conductor of electricity and plays a part in a lot of electricity-related household accidents.
3. Don’t stick metal objects (such as silverware) into toasters.
If you’re having trouble retrieving something from the toaster, you should never stick a metal object inside the toaster to get it out. The electrical elements inside the toaster can conduct electricity to the metal that your holding, which will then conduct electricity to you and electrocute you.
4. Pull electrical cords out of outlets by their plug.
Children who don’t know better may just yank a chord to unplug an electrical device. Doing this can damage the cord, plug, outlet, or the appliance/electronic. A damaged cord or plug can lead to exposed wires, which brings us to the next lesson...
5. Look out for damaged or frayed plugs.
Cord and plugs can suffer wear-and-tear over time or sometimes more immediate damage, such as when a pet chews on them. If your child sees a damaged plug or cord, they should tell an adult immediately so that the adult can safely unplug everything and remove the hazards.
Caution your child against touching any exposed wires as this could lead to anything from a minor to even a fatal electric shock. Even if no one touches an exposed wire, the fact that it’s not properly insulated also increases the risk of an electrical fire starting.
6. Keep an eye out for power lines when climbing trees, flying kites, or flying drones.
It’s not commonly known, but if someone is climbing a tree that comes directly in contact with a powerline, electricity can travel straight from the tree’s branch to the person’s body. Similarly, if someone is flying a kite, and the kite or the string touches a power line, electricity can travel down the kite’s string, through the person’s body, and into the ground.
While it’s not really conceivable that you’d get electrocuted if you flew a drone into a powerline, you could cause a power outage or--if the drone is large enough--a downed power line.
7. Stay away from downed power lines.
A downed power line is a term for what happens when the pole holding up a power line falls to the ground. It’s a very dangerous situation because you can’t tell from looking at it whether or not the powerline is live with electricity. If it is, it will be enough electricity to seriously injure you or end your life.
Make sure your child knows that if they see a downed power line, they should stay as far away as possible and not touch anything or anyone that has come into contact with it no matter what. Even if someone is hurt and lying unconscious close to the powerline, make sure your child knows to stay away from the accident and to call 911 for help.
8. Never try to put out an electrical fire with water.
If an electrical appliance (such as a toaster) catches on fire, make sure your child knows to never throw water on it to put it out.
For your own knowledge, adults: The appliance should always be unplugged first. Baking soda can smother small flames, but a Type C fire extinguisher will be needed for larger flames.