Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) is reminding children to stay safe around electricity equipment this summer.
As part of ‘Kidzsafe’, NIE’s education initiative to encourage children to play safely near electricity equipment, Margaret Gallagher, NIE Safety Officer, says everyone should be aware of the dangers of electricity.
She added: “Kidzsafe is a safety programme for young children across Northern Ireland. The initiative allows parents, teachers and children to learn together using online fact sheets as well as school talks and demonstrations.
“It is essential that children and their parents understand that electricity is safe when left alone, but can be potentially fatal when tampered with.
“With the summer holidays almost upon us this is a timely reminder to children to be aware of their surroundings. Anyone can be seriously injured or killed by coming into contact with overhead electricity lines and equipment while fishing, flying kites, sailing or even pitching tents.”
This is advice shared by local Sinn Fein councillor Patricia Logue who this week urged parents to warn their children about the dangers of playing near electricity substations or electricity pylons.
She said: “We all know that children love to climb up, on and over things. Fences are particularly inviting.
“With more children getting outside to play during the summer, it is the perfect time for parents to talk to them about electrical substations and why they must never climb the fences surrounding them.
“An electrical substation has thousands of volts running through it.
“This can kill someone in an instant. Only authorised and trained workers are allowed to work in or near high voltage substations. The whole substation is a danger zone, so children have to be prevented from getting near them at all times.
“Electricity is part of our everyday life - designed to provide us with a safe and reliable source of energy, but sometimes it can be dangerous.
“This happens when we’re exposed to it in ways we were not meant to be. We can avoid these hazards by following some simple rules and informing children of its dangers.”