9:00am Monday 23rd July 2012
BRIGHT and breezy conditions at weekends, and the approach of the long summer holiday, has prompted Southern Electric Power Distribution to warn parents and children to steer clear of overhead power lines when out and about.
With some activities and games involving high flying kites and planes, Paul Gallacher, SEPD’s Swindon depot manager, has warned people to be alert.
His warning comes after his Dorcan team dealt with a recent incident involving a large display balloon that got tangled in power lines near the Wiltshire/ Gloucestershire border, cutting power to 1,600 homes.
“Collision with an overhead line can cause serious burns, and electric shocks which can be fatal,” he said.
“It’s vital that you steer clear of all lines at all times. If you spot anything tangled in overhead lines, then contact us immediately. Don’t try and rescue it yourself.
“Also, if you are using a display balloon, or ‘blimp’, and it comes away from its moorings and you think there’s a chance of it colliding with power lines, then again get in touch. It’s better to be safe, than sorry.”
Children playing with a buggy also recently had a lucky escape.
“My colleagues were particularly alarmed when they found the cause of a recent power cut,” said Paul.
“It transpired two youngsters had taken a kite powered buggy into a field and were powering along, helped by a strong breeze, too late to notice the overhead lines above them.
“Their kite got caught and pulled down two 11,000 volt overhead lines, which caused the electricity to trip, and left the children in a very dangerous situation in the field. “Fortunately in this case, an adult was nearby and the children were given the correct instruction to stand well back from the fallen lines – which were still live – and not attempt to go past them until we were called and were able make them safe.
“These youngsters were extremely lucky to emerge unscathed – and the danger cannot be overstated here: you must look before you decide where to operate high flying objects. ”
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