The 167th Bloomsburg Fair was about more than fries and snow cones, rides, and prize-winning livestock. Visitors to the fair also had a chance to learn all about electrical safety, courtesy of PPL Electric Utilities.
Fairgoers watch an electrical safety demonstration
During the fair, attendees were invited to visit our Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit to watch regular electrical safety demonstrations each day. The exhibit featured a scaled down, 7,200-volt electrical distribution system.
During demonstrations, the public saw our trained employees, wearing protective equipment in a controlled environment, using ladders, gloves, shovels, and other tools to illustrate the spark, flames, smoke, and crackle that occur when items contact live electrical lines. Our team also showed what happens when contacting underground power lines while digging.
The exhibit, which was designed by our employees in 2015 as part of our commitment to protecting the safety of our communities, is used to educate first responders and others about how to stay safe around power lines and electrical equipment. More than 51,000 people have seen demonstrations since we started taking the exhibit across our 29-county Pennsylvania service territory.
If you think your organization may be interested in a demonstration, please contact Doug Haupt at email@example.com. Available dates for 2022 are booked, but 2023 bookings have begun. You can also visit our Safety and Community page to learn more about our commitment to safety in the communities we serve.
Promoting electrical safety and putting down [Community] Roots
During several days at the fair our Community Roots program also was on hand to distribute free trees to fairgoers.
Since our Community Roots program started in 2017, we have given away over 127,000 trees and pollinator plants to help stabilize streambanks, beautify neighborhoods and provide important habitat for birds, bees and butterflies. During Community Roots events, our employees also remind attendees to call 811 before they dig and ensure they do not plant trees under or near electrical facilities.
It’s back to school season.
Settling into a new school year routine takes time, and after the quiet summer months, we can all use a safety refresher to help keep our kiddos and the rest of the family safe around electricity.
Electrical safety tips for in your home:
- Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms have GFCI-protected outlets to keep you safe from electrical shocks.
- Check that you have working smoke alarms and never disable a smoke alarm when cooking.
- Avoid overloading outlets and regularly inspect electrical cords and extension cords for damage.
- Never insert anything other than an electrical plug into an electrical outlet.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use to save energy and minimize the risk of shock and fire. Never leave cooking or appliances unattended.
Safety tips for outside your home:
- Don’t play on or around utility poles or power lines.
- Keep away from green box transformers or other electrical equipment.
- Stay on the sidewalk when possible or walk facing traffic.
- Always use crosswalks and look both ways before crossing the street.
- Watch out for students and pedestrians crossing the street.
- Make sure to obey school zone speed limits.
- Stay at least 10 feet away from any school bus that’s stopped with its sign extended and lights flashing.
We hope all the students returning to the classroom—and their families—have a safe and enjoyable school year!
Firefighters face many dangers – not the least of which are electrical hazards – while battling fires and working to keep others safe.
So when the Scranton Fire Department had the chance to learn from PPL Electric Utilities how to keep themselves and others safer around power lines and other electrical components, its members jumped at the opportunity.
Dan Hallowich, deputy chief of Scranton’s Bureau of Fire, said the lessons we provided with our Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit were “second to none.”
“More often than not, we have to rely on theoretical discussions and case study review to learn about electrical hazards,” Hallowich said. “This presentation was able to put theory into action for us. We were able to see, hear, and in some cases smell, the outcome of these hazards allowing the development of key sensory memories – which is key for split second decision making.”
“Without a doubt, the PPL Electric Live Line Safety Presentation has improved our knowledge and understanding of electrical hazards throughout the community resulting in a safer environment for our members.”
Our 7,200-volt exhibit features live electrical wires, utility poles and transformers. Using ladders, gloves, shovels and other tools in a controlled environment, trained PPL Electric staff wearing protective equipment recreate sparks, flames, smoke and crackling that occurs when those items, as well as tree branches and mylar balloons, contact live electrical lines. We also discuss the importance of calling 811 before digging.
To date, we’ve reached more than 55,000 people with nearly 600 demonstrations since 2016. And more than 50 electrical safety demonstrations have been scheduled for fire departments, municipalities, safety events and fairs across our 29-county service territory during 2022. We’ll once again be doing daily demonstrations at the Bloomsburg Fair, which takes place from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1.
If your organization is interested in a demonstration, please contact Doug Haupt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-297-2461. Available dates for 2022 are limited, but 2023 bookings have begun. There are several requirements for the demonstrations: an audience of at least 50 people is required; we need an area suitable to accommodate the exhibit; and the host organization is asked to invite nearby first responder organizations.
For more information about how we keep our communities safe, visit pplelectric.com/safety.
Miguel Cabrera didn’t think twice when he saw a ladder leaning up against a power line on his way to a job site in Lancaster.
He immediately parked his vehicle, put his hazard lights on and approached a man on the ladder to make him aware of the hazard.
“I walked up to him and said, that ladder is up against a cable that’s energized,” said Cabrera, a journeyman electrician. “He said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, it can kill you.”
The man, who was using the ladder for work he was doing on a house, said he was told it was a cable wire, as opposed to an electric wire. He was apologetic and grateful that Cabrera took the time to make sure he was safe.
Cabrera’s good deed was a great example of looking out for the safety of others. The situation also was a reminder to look up and make sure there are no wires nearby when setting up a ladder for any job.
When it comes to electricity, no one knows more about how it works – and, more importantly, how to stay safe around it – than illustrious superhero Captain Wattage.
Just ask the hundreds of children across our service territory that saw him in action this spring.
Approximately 5,500 children in schools across central and eastern Pennsylvania saw our latest sponsored theater program designed to give long-lasting lessons about electrical safety.
The program, shown to students via livestream, featured Captain Wattage, who faces off against nemesis Vivica Voltage, who tries to get people to be unsafe around electricity. Through a series of lessons and with the help from Lineman Larry, Captain Wattage teaches how electricity is made, the uses of electricity, while identifying dangerous situations and how to stay safe around electricity.
It marks the seventh year that we’ve provided the program to schools in the communities we serve. To date, more than 120,000 elementary school children at more than 300 schools across PA have seen the program.
The online show is supplemented by student playbooks, posters and an e-learning package including games, e-books, hands-on lessons, and assessments for educators. We sponsor every aspect of the program, making Captain Wattage a cost-free supplement to lessons in science, literacy, and the arts taught by schools today.
For more information about electrical safety for kids, including games and activities please visit pplelectric.com/safety.