A survey of 600 parents across the province conducted for BC Hydro shows most (over 2/3) are not teaching their children about electrical safety because they themselves do not know the rules.
76% of parents of kids 18 or younger did not know you should stay three meters away from undamaged overhead neighbourhood powerlines.
58% did not know the distance they need to stay from a damaged power line – 10 meters.
Some parents were unaware there is often no visual sign a downed power line is still live – 30% think it makes a crackling sound, 27% said they smoke or spark, and 8% said downed power lines glow.
Only 57% of parents knew to keep their kids’ balloons, kites, and even drones away from live power lines – items BC Hydro said cause major power outages every year.
In a release, BC Hydro reminds residents to “keep in mind these potentially life saving rules around electricity:
- A fallen power line is dangerous even if it is not smoking, sparking, or making a buzzing sound. Stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a bus) and call 911 immediately to report.
- Stay at least three metres away from working power lines – the length of a standard four-door car.
- Watch for power lines in your area – never carry balloons or fly kites near power lines and always securely fasten balloons or inflatables to make sure they will not be picked up by a sudden gust of wind and contact a power line.
- Never contact or climb transmission towers, power poles, pad mounted transformers (they look like green or gray boxes) or other electrical infrastructure.
- Do not trespass near BC Hydro facilities such as dams, powerhouses or substations, and respect all safety signage at these sites.
- In the event of a motor vehicle accident involving electrical equipment, BC Hydro encourages staying in the car and calling 911. A BC Hydro crew will isolate and ground the damaged equipment to make it safe for first responders to rescue you. If staying in the car is not an option because of emergency, jump out and away from the vehicle, taking care to land with feet together and shuffle at least 10 metres away – the length of a bus- to avoid getting injured.”
A quarter of parents surveyed admitted their gap in knowledge is because they were never taught proper safety and precautions.
Parents who have shared their knowledge with their kids most often said they were first taught in school.