PPL Electric Utilities will be sharing practical lessons about electrical safety with thousands across Pennsylvania while touring in 2019 with its Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit. The latest safety exhibit tour, which began recently, runs through September.

The popular exhibit, built by PPL employees, is used to show the public how to stay safe around power lines and other electrical equipment by illustrating what happens when contact is made with those lines.

Approximately 11,500 people saw demonstrations in 2018 and more than 20,000 have gotten lessons from the exhibit since PPL began using it in 2016.

“We initially focused our efforts on illustrating these valuable lessons in front to first responders, but we also do demonstrations for the general public at fairs, safety events and other community gatherings,” said Mark Santayana, manager of Public Safety for PPL Electric Utilities. “The response has been outstanding. If this education tool helps prevent one injury, it’s been successful.”

Santayana’s team has scheduled more than 150 demonstrations for 2019. PPL uses trained employees to show what happens when various items – shovels, ladders, Mylar balloons, tree branches and gloves – contact overhead and underground power lines. They also emphasize the importance of call 811 before digging.

The free 811 call will prompt a visit from a line locator to determine whether underground utilities such as power lines are located within the dig area.

An estimated 50 people saw a nearly hour-long demonstration recently at the Lewis Group’s headquarters in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Stephen Pelna, vice president of the Lewis Group, said everyone at Lewis is told to stay away from downed wires and to treat every power line as live. He said the PPL demonstration allowed the Lewis team to see what can happen when contact is made with overhead and underground power lines.

“It was incredible,” Pelna said. “I think it really opens your eyes to the hazards of electricity.”