Below are are some simple storm safety guidelines so parents and neighbors can inform children of potential electrical hazards:
- Don't allow children to touch or go near fallen wires, even if sparks aren't present. Remember, following a storm, debris can cover power lines that have fallen and even standing near lines that are down can be dangerous. Always stay at least 20 feet or more away from any downed line and never step in water nearby.
- Transformers and other power equipment, usually large green boxes on cement blocks, also should be avoided by children at all times, especially during storms.
- 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 stay 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 them to jump clear without touching the ground and the vehicle at the same time. Never touch the car and the ground 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 travel from kite strings to the person holding it.