Working in the community | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Working in the community

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

Activity Image
30 mins


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.

Single screen mode

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

Need help with using quiz activities in the classroom?
Check out our Getting started guide.

Getting started guide

Multi-player mode

Multi-player mode allows you to run the activity while your students participate (either individually or in small groups) on their own phones, tablets, or computers.

Before you begin, make sure:

  • You and your students are all connected to the internet
  • You’re projecting your screen for the class to see

Launch activity

Need help with using quiz activities in the classroom?
Check out our Getting started guide.

Getting started guide


What you'll need

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

  1. Let students know we’ll be watching a video that presents possible safety hazards that may exist in everyday life.
  2. 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.
  3. Select the correct response and discuss as a class.
  4. Continue on to the next scene - there are 9 questions in total.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.

Modify or extend this activity

  • Review this blog 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.

Teaching Notes

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.


  • Assess students’ participation in class discussion.
  • Assess students’ understanding of the three keys to electrical safety.

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