Tragic accident prompts national warning on electric safety

Published 11:21 am Thursday, May 17, 2012

Special to The Post-Searchlight

A 6-year-old Alabama child received severe burns after coming into contact with a transformer in a public sports complex late last month. With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, leaving children with more time to play outdoors and summer recreational activities in full swing, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) are joining forces to warn the public about outdoor electrical dangers that can pose safety threats to children.

This collaborative effort is part of National Electrical Safety Month, an annual public awareness campaign sponsored by ESFI to promote the importance of electrical safety and educate key audiences about the steps that can be taken to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities at home, in public, and in the workplace.

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“Indoor electrical safety hazards such as tampering with electrical outlets are ingrained in children at a young age,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications for NFPA. “However, there are several outdoor electrical safety hazards that aren’t as widely addressed, and it is vital that we educate the public about simple safety precautions that can prevent tragic accidents from occurring.”

NFPA and ESFI are offering the following tips for parents to enforce to their children this summer to ensure that they avoid electrical shock or burns while playing outdoors:

• Electrical equipment enclosures and boxes should not be used as a playground toy or something to sit on or play around. Equipment that has been damaged or not maintained can present a shock hazard.

• Do not play or fly kites near power lines. If your kite gets caught in a power line, let go of the kite.

• If you see a power line on the ground, tell an adult right away.

• If there is lightning, do not stand near trees. Go inside right away.

• Do not play with indoor toys near water or in a swimming pool. Ask an adult before bringing toys into the pool.

• Parents should notify town or local officials if they observe electrical equipment that is in a state of disrepair so that repairs can be initiated.

“It’s important for parents to regularly inspect areas where their children play to identify situations that could potentially turn dangerous,” said Brett Brenner, president of ESFI.

For more information on keeping children safe and for educational resources, visit and


About the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)

ESFI is dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. ESFI proudly sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns throughout the year to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities in the home and the workplace.


About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at for more information.