CWEC talks to fourth graders about electrical safety

During May, to help promote Electrical Safety Month, Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (CWEC) once again provided electricity safety demonstrations to fourth-grade students at six elementary schools in the CWEC service area.

Elementary schools included those in Birnamwood, Bowler, Iola, Rosholt, Tigerton and Wittenberg.

The demonstrations were conducted by CWEC linemen and showed students the dangers that could occur if they aren’t safe around electricity. Students learned about some of the safety equipment a lineman has to wear when they work around power lines. They were also shown examples of what overhead and underground power lines look like, and learned why they are constructed the way they are. Linemen also showed the students what happens if a tree branch, kite string and fishing line come in contact with a power line.

“It’s important for students to understand how dangerous electricity can be, and that they should never go near a downed power line or something that is in contact with a power line,” said Bert Lehman, member relations specialist at CWEC. “During the classroom demonstrations, students see smoke, sparks and flames, which help to reinforce that they need to stay away from power lines.”

To help convey how dangerous electricity is, one of the demonstrations used a hot dog to simulate what would happen if a human body contacted a power line.

“Students are always amazed by the hot dog portion of the demonstration,” Lehman said. “They generally have a lot of questions about electricity after that.”

Finally, students were informed about what to do if they are involved in a vehicle accident that resulted in a downed power line, and if need be, how to properly exit a vehicle in that situation.

“Our linemen enjoy giving back to the community by providing these demonstrations to students,” Lehman said. “They feel it is important for kids to know why linemen take so many precautions when working around power lines, and why the public needs to stay away from power lines.”