When children are old enough to understand rules, then it’s a good idea to have house rules around electrical safety. Make sure that an electrical safety plan is part of your overall emergency preparedness plan. When your children know what to do and not to do around electricity, accidents are less likely to occur.

1DON’T plug too much stuff into one outlet or extension cord.

It could damage the electrical system in your house or even cause a fire. Show children how plugs work, and let them know that even if they are curious about the slits of an electrical outlet, nothing else should be placed inside.

2Keep electrical stuff far away from water.

Water and electricity never mix. Use caution outdoors and keep all electrical appliances at least 10 feet away from hot tubs, pools, ponds, puddles and wet surfaces. Never place electronics near the shower or bathtub, and keep liquids and drinks away from computers, video games, and TVs, or anything that has a cord and plug. 

3Never put metal objects in an appliance or outlet

4DON’T yank an electrical cord from the wall.

Pulling on a cord can damage the appliance, plug or outlet.

5DON’T ever climb the fence around an electrical substation.

If a ball or pet gets inside the fence, contact your local electric utility for assistance—they’ll come and get it out for you.

6DON’T FLY!

Teach children to never fly kites or carry helium balloons on long strings under or near power lines. Electricity is always looking for a route to the ground; kites and balloons make the perfect conduits. If a kite gets stuck in a tree that’s near power lines, don’t climb up to get it. Contact your local electric cooperative for assistance. The kite and the string may conduct electricity—sending it right through you to the ground.

7LOOK UP!

Look out for power lines before you climb a tree. The electricity can go right through the tree branch—and right through you!

8LOOK DOWN!

In some neighborhoods, power lines are buried in the ground. It can be difficult to tell where these lines are located. Teach children not to dig in the ground in any areas you have not told them are safe.

9LOOK AHEAD!

Transformers are often large, green, metal boxes sitting on the ground. Teach your children that these are not mountains to be climbed or treasures to explore. Tell your children that if they notice one of these boxes open, they should alert an adult immediately.

10LOOK OUT!

When lightning strikes, it’s time to head inside. Children should know to go indoors when storms are approaching, but especially when thunder sounds and lightning strikes.

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