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Working in the community

Introduce electrical safety hazards that can be encountered at work and how to stay safe.

  • Grades 8-12
  • Quiz
  • 30 mins

Participate as a class

A single screen and laptop is used for watching the video and answering questions together as a class.

Before you begin, make sure:

  • You’re connected to the internet
  • You’re projecting your screen for the class to see

Launch activity


This interactive activity gives us the information needed to identify potential hazards by watching a video that presents electrical safety hazard scenarios and poses questions to discuss as a class.

What you'll need

  • You’ll need internet access, a computer and screen set up to watch a video.


  • Let students know we’ll be watching a video that presents possible safety hazards that may exist in everyday life.
  • Watch the video as a class. The video will pause and a multiple-choice question will appear on the screen. Have students discuss the scenario and question as a group or in pairs and then decide as a class which answer or answers are correct
  • Select the correct response and discuss as a class.
  • Continue on to the next scene - there are 9 questions in total.
  • After watching the video, reflect on what we learned. Were there any surprises? How did the class do? What are the three keys to electrical safety?
  • Conclude the activity by providing a visual representation of the safe distance to stay back from a downed power line. Use a tape measure to mark out 10 metres in the classroom, gym, or outdoors. 

Additional Information

  • Assess students’ participation in class discussion
  • Assess students’ understanding of the three keys to electrical safety
  • Review this article about an incident in Norway that underlines the danger of high voltages on the ground and illustrates the concept of step potential
  • Have students create a graphic novel, comic or poster to demonstrate understanding of what to do if they see a downed power line.
  • Educate others about electrical safety:
    • Create an electrical safety display at school
    • Have students take the finished product home to share the message with family members.
  • If it's down, it's a danger. Stay back at least 10 metres and dial 911
  • Always assume that downed or damaged power lines are live, even if they're not sparking or making  any sound


A downed line may be on the ground or caught in a tree. Wherever it's landed, it can be a danger to yourself and others.


To be safe, shuffle (don't walk or hop) 10 metres away from a downed wire. Keep others in the vicinity at least a bus-length away.


If you see a downed line, call 911 as soon as you can. Why 911? Emergency services can dispatch a team immediately to secure and keep your area safe, and will contact us right away.

Get more information about power outages, electrical safety, and trees & power lines at

Why do you need to shuffle?

When live power lines touch the ground, electricity flows into the ground and spreads in irregular circles (much like ripples in a pond after a stone is cast). As you get further away from the source, the electrical voltage (potential) weakens (10 metres being a safe distance). Electricity always flows from high potential to lower potential (much like a car in neutral gear rolling down a hill) and the reason why we shuffle is to ensure that your body is on the same voltage level. Humans are very good conductors of electricity; but, if we remain on the same voltage, then the electricity has no motivation to travel through your body (much like a car in neutral gear on a flat street). That’s why birds don’t get electrocuted while perched on power lines: their two feet are at the same electrical potential/voltage.

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