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Back-to-School Power Safety

Electrical safety tips for every age, from preschool to grade 12.

Three children playing on the playground

Electricity is useful, but it can also be dangerous, especially for children. Teach youngsters that electricity always seeks the easiest path to the ground – it can even flow through you and cause serious injury! As kids head back to school, our electrical safety experts offer 13 safety lessons that will be useful whether they’re starting Grade 12, or their first day of school.

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Electrical outlets seem to fascinate little ones – perhaps because they’re at eye level. Teach kids to keep fingers, toys, sticks, forks and all other objects away from outlets. Be sure to install electrical outlet covers.



Be aware of electrical cords around the house. Tuck away extension cords and power bars. Remove tripping hazards, like long cords that could get tangled, yanked or chewed by a family pet.



Ensure your young readers recognize and understand the word D-A-N-G-E-R. Teach them to steer clear of anything with a bright orange DANGER sign, like that green transformer box in your neighbourhood.



Climbing a tree? Remind kids to always look up first. If there’s even one power line passing through the branches, find another tree to climb. Electricity can pass right through a tree branch – or right through you!



Never unplug appliances or electronic devices by tugging the cord from a distance. Set a good example: go to the outlet and gently pull the plug. Yanking a cord out of the wall can damage the plug, the outlet, and the device.



Bread stuck in the toaster? Never, ever take a knife or fork and stick it into the toaster, no matter how hungry you are. Ask an adult for help, and make sure the person helping you unplugs the toaster first!



Flying a kite? Look for a big open field, far away from any transmission towers, power lines, green transformer boxes and anything labelled DANGER. Find a safe place to unwrap that kite before you start.



You didn’t listen – and now your kite is caught in a power line. What do you do? Don’t even think about grabbing a stick or climbing a hydro pole to get it! Call 1-800-434-1235 right away. Only a trained professional can climb a utility pole.



Thunderstorms can be amazing and scary, but dangerous. “When thunder roars, go indoors” – that’s the rule. If you hear a storm, find shelter inside, away from windows and doors. Never, ever stand outside under a tree or a tall object.



Styling your hair for the first day of high school? Remember: electricity and water don’t mix. Always keep the blow dryer away from water. If it falls in the sink, unplug it first, dry it thoroughly, then go back to styling.



Mowing the lawn? If you’re using an electric lawnmower, always be aware of the electrical cord. Keep it far away from the path you’re mowing, so you don’t run over it, damage the cord – or worse, give yourself an electric jolt.



Caught in a car during a lightning storm? Stay inside and close the windows. If a power line comes down on the car, stay put and call 9-1-1. In case of fire, make your escape by doing the “bunny hop” – jump out with feet together, and land on both feet. If you don’t touch the car and the ground at the same time, you can’t conduct electricity.



Helping to build a new fence? Before you start, contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to request a “locate” – the location of an underground power, gas or telecommunications line. Sure, Dad thinks he knows what’s in the backyard. But does he know it’s the law? Call or click before you dig.

A fallen tree on a powerline

Power Safety

For more ways to stay safe, see our Power Safety Tips. And remember, safe play is better for children of all ages. If your kids are playing outside, remind them to drink water, use sunscreen and, of course, don’t talk to strangers.

Go to power safety tips