Don’t laugh. On the jump is a photo sent to me by a FBvian of a kite tangled in power lines near I-35 and Highway 67. And every year, people think it’s a good idea to fly kites in the middle of incredible lightning storms. And, every year, they shouldn’t. In fact, the good people at Oncor have prepared a press release to give you tips on how to be safe while flying kites. April is, after all, National Kite Month, and we should all think about that for a few moments. Thus ends my obligation to the good people at Oncor and their open-tab policy at Lee Harvey’s last night. Carry on.
DALLAS (April 8, 2009) – Kites are a great way for children to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. However, if they are not used properly, especially near power lines, kites can also be very dangerous.
With the warm weather and cool breezes, it’s no wonder April is National Kite Month. Oncor has some special safety suggestions for playing it safe while enjoying this fun, family activity, along with some general outdoor safety tips for kids.
Oncor offers these kite safety tips for children:
– Adults should always supervise children flying kites.
– Never fly kites near power lines or during thunderstorms. Ben Franklin was lucky. Kites and lightning don’t mix.
– If the kite approaches a power line, release the string immediately. Never touch a power line or anything that is touching a power line, as it could be electrified and dangerous.
– Do not attempt to retrieve a kite in a power line; notify an adult to call 9-1-1. The authorities will know how to safely remove the kite.
– Never use metallic string as kite string. While pretty, strings with metallic pieces are conductors of electricity and could lead to a serious injury or even death if electrified.
– Never use metal rods or other metal parts when building kites. Metal is a conductor of electricity and could lead to a shock or very serious injury for the kite flyer if it comes in contact with a power line.
Other outdoor tips for children:
– Pad-mount transformers, areas around substations, utility poles or other electric equipment are off-limits to children. Obey warning signs such as “Danger,” “High Voltage” or “Keep Out.”
– Never touch or approach a downed power line. Report the hazard to an adult immediately, who should call 9-1-1. Assume that power lines and anything touching the power lines are electrified and thus dangerous.
– Do not climb fences or trees that are close to power lines.
Remember, it’s not enough to just know these tips – you have to actually follow them, too. To view these electric safety tips or for more from Oncor’s Lifetime of Safety program, visit www.oncor.com/safety.