Learn the power of impactful messages. Explore safety situations and create a public service announcement to keep your peers safe around electricity.
This compelling video about a life-changing decision shows us what makes an impactful safety message. Students use their own ideas to design a powerful public service announcement (PSA) to keep their peers safe around electricity.
Electricity is all around us and we use it every day, but because it’s invisible we don’t often give it much thought. The truth is electricity is powerful and can be dangerous if we’re not careful. Young people under the age of 25 are especially vulnerable to accidents with their friends at work. The more we know about electrical safety, the better informed we’ll be when making decisions.
This activity supports development in many of the Core competencies.
Eric’s story is a two-minute video about a young man who survives an electrical incident. Eric and his friends were out one night when they ended up somewhere they weren’t allowed to be. A split second of poor judgement changed Eric’s life forever. Some key details from his experience include:
Developing a concept for a Public Service Announcement embraces the new curriculum model of “Know–Do–Understand” and is a way to honour students’ voice and choice. Creating a digital PSA demonstrates a logical sequencing of ideas, connects appropriate content to the overarching message, and exudes a high quality and depth of learning. The Core Competencies of Personal Awareness, Social Responsibility, Communication, Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking are all supported in this activity.
Electricity is powerful and can be dangerous. The more students know about electrical safety and responding to emergencies at home, in the community and in the workplace, the better informed they’ll be when making decisions.
Electricity seeks the easiest path to the ground and will travel there through any conductive material. The human body conducts electricity and if we get between electricity and the ground or something touching the ground, electricity will flow through us.
Electricity travels very quickly – approximately 300,000 km per second. You aren’t given any warning or time to react.
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. Stay at least 10 metres (the length of a yellow school bus) away from the downed line and call 911 as soon as you can. Emergency services dispatch a team immediately to secure the area and will contact BC Hydro right away. For more information, go to bchydro.com.
Touching anything connected to live electricity can provide a path to ground (e.g. touching a ladder that becomes energized by electricity creates a path to ground through the person). This is called touch potential.
Electricity moves from high to low concentrations and spreads away from a point of contact on the ground in concentric circles. If a person is standing with one foot on an energized piece of ground and the other foot on a less energized piece of ground, electricity will move through the person. This is called step potential.
If you find yourself near a downed power line, you need to shuffle away from the electrically charged ground until you are at least 10 metres away. Shuffle with your feet close together so that the heel of the front foot doesn’t pass the toes of the back foot.
Injuries can occur through direct contact with electrical energy or when electricity arcs (jumps) through the air to a person who is grounded. High-voltage contact burns can damage internal tissues while leaving only very small injuries on the skin. Muscle contractions, or a startled reaction, can cause a person to fall from a ladder or height, causing serious injuries.
Electrical contact can cause electric shock, which prevents a person from moving to disconnect the electricity, and can cause serious internal injuries, burns or electrocution. Electrocution is the term used for a death caused by electrical contact. High voltage electricity can move through all types of materials including metals, wood, rubber and soil. No matter the urge to help someone, don’t touch someone who is being shocked. Call 911 and wait until BC Hydro can isolate and turn off the power.
Always look up and look down. Be aware of overhead and underground power lines.
Overhead wires entering houses and buildings aren’t insulated and therefore can’t protect you from an electric shock. You don’t have to touch a power line to be shocked or electrocuted; if you come within three metres of a power line, the energy can arc (jump) towards you and take a path to the ground through your body. Remember this if you are using a ladder, painting, climbing trees or cutting branches. Stay back at least three metres from any power line.
If you don’t see the power lines above you, they are buried underground. Call BC 1 Call (1-800-474-6886) before digging to find out the location of underground electricity, gas or service lines and avoid them.
Power outages can be caused by power lines falling to the ground. Remember to stay back at least 10 metres from a downed power line and call 911.
Prepare for a power outage by developing a plan with your family. Make a list of local emergency contact numbers and purchase or prepare an emergency kit. Never use a portable generator indoors because carbon monoxide gas can build up and lead to death. All workplaces should have an emergency plan. Make sure you’re familiar with it.
A series of true or false statements test our safety smarts.
Prepare for winter storms and create storm safety messages to share on social media.
Youth will learn to stay safe in the workplace.
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