A 6-year-old Alabama child received severe burns after coming into contact with a transformer in a public sports complex late last month. With the end of the school year rapidly approaching leaving children with more time to play outdoors and summer recreational activities in full swing, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) are joining forces to warn the public about outdoor electrical dangers that can pose as safety threats to children.
This collaborative effort is part of National Electrical Safety Month, an annual public awareness campaign sponsored by ESFI to promote the importance of electrical safety and educate key audiences about the steps that can be taken to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities at home, in public, and in the workplace.
“Indoor electrical safety hazards such as tampering with electrical outlets are ingrained in children at a young age,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications for NFPA. “However, there are several outdoor electrical safety hazards that aren’t as widely addressed, and it is vital that we educate the public about simple safety precautions that can prevent tragic accidents from occurring.”
NFPA and ESFI are offering the following tips for parents to enforce to their children this summer to ensure that they avoid electrical shock or burns while playing outdoors:
- Electrical equipment enclosures and boxes should not be used as a playground toy or something to sit on or play around. Equipment that has been damaged or not maintained can present a shock hazard.
- Do not play or fly kites near power lines. If your kite gets caught in a power line, let go of the kite.
- If you see a power line on the ground, tell an adult right away.
- If there is lightning, do not stand near trees. Go inside right away.
- Do not play with indoor toys near water or in a swimming pool. Ask an adult before bringing toys into the pool.
- Parents should notify town or local officials if they observe electrical equipment that is in a state of disrepair so that repairs can be initiated.
“It’s important for parents to regularly inspect areas where their children play to identify situations that could potentially turn dangerous,” said Brett Brenner, president of ESFI.