Be safe around electricity | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Be safe around electricity

Students create posters to show others how to be safe around electricity.

Activity Image
2, 3
45 mins
Hands on


Electrical safety is vitally important. Even though electricity is something we can’t see, there are hazards and risks that come with using it. In this activity, your students will learn how to be safe around electricity and will show what they’ve learned by creating safety posters.


What you'll need

  • Poster paper
  • Markers, crayons, paint and other art materials
  • "Be safe around electricity" slideshow

Introduce electrical safety

  1. As a class, name some things that use electricity and have your students describe what they do when they are plugged in and turned on.
  2. Explain to your students the importance of being safe around electricity because it can harm us. Ask them to list some ways they can stay safe around electricity.

Present the slideshow

  1. Now go through the Be safe around electricity” slideshow. There are notes in the Teaching notes section that you can use during the presentation. Discuss each image and have your students think of a safety rule for each one. This can be done in pairs or as a class.

Create posters

  1. Now it’s time for your students to demonstrate their creativity. Have them design posters, based on one of the situations from the slideshow, that communicates an electrical safety message. This work can be done alone or in small groups.
  2. Allow time for students to present their posters, in their groups or to the class, so they can share the safety rule they represented in their poster.

Modify or extend this activity

Play “20 questions: Electricity” to continue the conversation about things that plug in and turn on. 

Curriculum Fit

Grade 2, 3 Physical and Health Education 


  • Strategies and skills to use in potentially hazardous, unsafe or abusive situations

Teaching Notes

Use the following notes when presenting the “Be safe around electricity” slideshow:

Slide 1: Be safe around electricity

  • Electricity is being used all around us – at school, at home and elsewhere in the community. There are important things to know to stay safe around electricity. 

Slide 2: Toaster

  • What do you need to be careful of when you use a toaster? 
    • Electricity is moving in the toaster if it is plugged in, even if the toaster is not being used. You can get a shock. 
    •  Keep metal objects out of toasters. 
  • What should you do if your toast gets stuck? 
    • Always ask an adult to unplug the toaster or any other appliance before trying to remove something that is stuck. 

Slide 3: Plugs

  • What do you need to be careful of around power outlets? 
    • Electricity is travelling in the outlets and could give you a shock. 
    • Never put fingers or any other objects in an outlet. The only thing that goes into an electrical outlet is a plug.
  • When there is a plug in an outlet, how do you remove it? 
    • Pull the plug, not the cord. 
    • When you pull the cord, you damage the wires inside it.

Slide 4: Flying kites

  • If you want to fly a kite, what do you need to be careful of? 
    • Never fly kites near power lines. 
  • What’s dangerous about flying kites near power lines? 
    • If a kite touches a power line, the electricity could travel through the string and hurt you.

Slide 5: Substations

  • What is this place? What is it for? 
    • This is a substation. A substation often has many wires and metal containers in it and is surrounded by a wire fence. The substation sends electricity along different paths on power lines to our homes, schools and communities. 
  • What should you be careful of when you are near a substation? 
    • There is enough electricity moving through a substation to seriously hurt you. It is never safe to go near a substation fence or to try and get anything that has gone over the fence. 
    • If a ball, toy or pet gets on the other side of the fence, have an adult call BC Hydro to ask for help. 

Slide 6: Warnings

  • What do you think this sign means? 
    • The sign is warning you that something is dangerous. Recognize these DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE signs and keep away. 
    • Never go near or touch things with similar warning signs, including big metal boxes. 
  • Have you ever seen any of these metal boxes around your neighbourhood? What do you think they are for? 
    • These metal boxes are called padmount transformers. They are in places where the power lines are buried underground. 
    • Do not sit on or play around these boxes, because electricity is moving through them. 

Slide 7: Trees near power lines

  • Have you ever climbed a tree? 
  • If you have, did you look around to see if there were any power lines near the trees? Do you think you should? 
    • Never touch or climb trees that are near power lines, even if you wouldn’t climb high enough to reach the power line. 
    • Electricity can travel from the power lines through the tree to you.

Slide 8: Appliances and water

  • When you are in the bathroom, is it a hazard to have a hairdryer plugged in? When? 
    • When the tap is running or if the hairdryer is near a sink or bathtub with water in it. 
  • What is the danger of using something you plug in around water? 
    • Water carries electricity, so if a part of the object touches the water, the electricity could travel from the appliance through the water to you. 
    • Even if a hairdryer is not being used, if it is plugged in, electricity is moving through it. 
    • Never use anything with a cord or plug around water. 
    • Never touch an electrical device that has fallen into the water. Ask an adult to help. 
    • Can you think of other appliances that you might need to be careful with around water? 
    • Toaster, blender, music player, electric razor, etc. 

Slide 9: Downed power lines

  • What has happened to the power lines? 
    • A tree has fallen on the power lines and broken the power pole and the wires. 
    • Stay away from broken or fallen power lines. 
    • Never touch any electrical wires found on or near the ground. Find an adult to help. 
  • What should you do if you were in the green car near the fallen pole? 
    • If you were in the car, you should stay there. 
    • Electricity can travel through the ground up to 10 metres from a downed power line. That’s about the length of a bus. 

Slide 10: Summary

  • Take a look at these images. What safety rules do they remind you of?

Electricity in B.C.

Most electricity in B.C. is generated inside hydroelectric dams. The dam holds back the water in a reservoir and then channels it through large pipes called penstocks. The energy of the falling water is used to turn large wheels called turbines, which then spin generators, which create electricity.

Electricity travels from generators through a network of high-voltage transmission lines to substations near our communities. The substation sends the electricity to the buildings and homes where it is needed over wires called power lines.

The grey cylinders you see on power poles are called transformers. Sometimes these are on the ground in metal boxes called padmount transformers. Transformers the voltage of the electricity so it can be safely used in our communities.

As electricity enters our homes, businesses and schools, it passes through a meter. The meter measures the amount of electricity we use. The electricity then flows through wires in the walls and ceilings of our buildings to outlets where it can power our appliances, lights, and other devices.


  • Review the posters your students created to assess their understanding of electrical safety.
  • Assess the ability of your students to communicate their understanding of how to stay safe around electricity while sharing with their peers.

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