Electricity cannot be seen, heard or smelled, which makes it even more hazardous.
While we depend on electricity every day, research shows a general lack of knowledge about the hazards associated with it. Safe Electricity knows one of the best ways to educate is to share stories of those whose lives have been impacted by an electrical accident or fatality.
Stories that save lives
Lee and Ashley, two high school students, saw an electrical safety presentation at their school and just two weeks later were in an auto accident involving a damaged utility pole. The knowledge they gained literally saved their lives. Because of education, they knew, without a doubt, that the downed power line could electrocute them had they exited the vehicle. They stayed put and called 9-1-1.
Would you know what to do? What if the vehicle was on fire, would you (or your family and friends) know what to do? My kids know—not because I have told them over and over (does that ever work with kids?), but because they watched the video and heard Lee and Ashley explain how fortunate they were to know that life-saving information.
Holly often climbed trees with her sister Tiffany. One day, Tiffany reached up and grabbed an overhead power line and was electrocuted. In another case, Shawn tossed a strand of holiday lights into a tree when electricity from the overhead power lines traveled through the strand and entered his body at the speed of light, causing 27 exit wounds throughout his body. Overhead power lines become part of our scenery; we don’t perceive them as a typical danger and often forget about them.
Respect sources of electricity
Take a moment to think about the activities you and loved ones have done near power lines such as trimming tree limbs, climbing a tree or putting up a ladder to clean out gutters.
The typical 120 volts fed to your home’s outlets cause the most electrical injuries and electrocutions. Activities like using your devices near water while they are plugged in, pets chewing on cords or using a space heater are all potentially hazardous.
My intent is not to scare you. Much of the time, we enjoy the wonderful benefits of electricity without incident. Instead, my desire is that you WANT to learn more about the dangers it can present and share it with as many as you can. Because TOGETHER, we will make a powerful difference and create a safer, smarter world. Learn more at safeelectricity.org.
Photo courtesy of Ron Bailey, Safe Electricity