As the summer winds down, both parents and kids start prepping for another school year. Though the routine of typical school days is all too familiar, electrical hazards lurk around each corner and in each classroom. Here’s a few simple reminders about electricity for students of all ages to keep in mind when heading back to school.
Elementary/Middle School Students
An average of seven children are admitted to emergency rooms each day with shock or burn injuries due to tampering with electrical outlets. For older children it may seem like common sense, but the curiosity of the younger ones can sometimes lead to dangerous situations. Writing utensils and other supplies like paperclips should never be placed in or near outlets, nor should fingers or other objects.
When it comes time to unplug something in the classroom, be sure to hold the plug by its base and firmly, but slowly, remove it from the outlet. Avoid yanking it out by the cord.
During recess or after school, keep your distance from power lines and poles. It’s never a good idea to loiter around things that have the possibility of causing harm. Throwing shoes over a power line still remains a big no-no.
High School Students
If you’ve just received the privilege of driving to school with your newly-obtained driver’s license, pay close to attention on those morning and afternoon drives for utility crews at work. Should you be involved in an accident involving a power line or pole, assume live electricity is outside of the car and use extreme caution.
Even if it’s the “coolest” spot to hang out around, steer clear of pad-mount transformers – you know, the big green metal boxes. It’s a given that all electrical equipment on school property should be avoided due to the possible dangers of electrical shock.
Always be cautious in science classes, specifically the ones with labs. Sinks, eye washes, chemicals – it’s likely your hands or the area near you will be wet. Keep everything dry and use caution when plugging in equipment.
It’s common practice, unfortunately, for college kids to load up electrical outlets and power strips with electronics and appliances. Since many dorms and apartment rooms are fairly small there isn’t much room to spread these out. Many campus housing options are dated and aren’t equipped to handle today’s amount of electricity usage. Get in the habit of unplugging what’s not in use.
It’s also a smart idea to keep gadgets and cords away from bedding and curtains. The heat from a laptop charger or mini-fridge can start an electrical fire if left in contact with flammable material for too long.
For more tips, tricks, and advice from Mister Sparky, view some of our other blog posts.
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