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Keeping Your Children Safe

Electrical safety is a top priority at Duke Energy. This is most important when it comes to kids. Children don’t always know — or remember — what can be dangerous, so it’s up to the adults to watch out for their safety.

The No. 1 safety rule for anyone to remember is this: Don’t touch a power line or anything that’s touching a power line, such as a tree limb, kite string or model airplane. No one can tell simply by looking at a line whether it’s energized or not, and contact with a power line can be deadly. Electricity seeks the easiest path to reach the ground and, unfortunately, people are good conductors of electricity.

Here are some more important tips for keeping children safe:

  • Don't allow children to touch or go near fallen wires, even if sparks aren't present. After a storm, remember that debris can cover power lines that have fallen. Even standing near lines that are down can be dangerous. 
  • Don’t build tree houses near power lines. 
  • Don’t allow children to climb trees growing near power lines. 
  • Teach children to get help from adults if they need to retrieve anything from a power line, or if they discover damaged or downed lines in the area. 
  • Don’t allow children to climb on – or even touch – the green, pad-mounted transformers located in many neighborhoods, or any other ground-mounted electrical equipment.
  • Keep children away from any ladders or work equipment being used by Duke Energy professionals. These items also have the potential to be dangerous. 
  • Keep power tools and electric lawn tools away from swimming pools and sprinklers. 
  • Keep all electric products out of the reach of children. 
  • Use plastic outlet caps if young children are in the home. 
  • During a lightning storm, tell children to stay out of the water and away from puddles. When inside, tell them to stay out of the tub or shower, and off the phone. Currents from lightning can enter through plumbing and phone lines. 
  • If caught inside a vehicle with a power line that has fallen on it, you should wait inside for help and warn others to stay away. It's better to stay inside the vehicle until emergency help arrives, but if immediate escape is necessary, tell children – and any other occupants – to jump clear without touching the ground and the vehicle at the same time. 
  • Warn children to never touch electric cords or switches when they are standing in water or have wet hands. 
  • When playing outside, children should not fly kites, model planes or balloons near power lines, or climb trees near lines. Not only can a kite or its string attract lightning during a storm; electricity from power lines can also travel from a kite’s string to the person holding it.