Play safe near power lines

People are being urged to play safe new power lines.
People are being urged to play safe new power lines.

As the days grow longer and the evenings lighter, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging people to play safe near power lines and electrical equipment.

This follows two recent incidents in Aberdeenshire, one in Banchory and the other in Newmachar, where kites became tangled in SSEN’s overhead power lines. This resulted in two emergency power outages to ensure the safety of the community while the kites were recovered.

Children and parents alike are reminded to be aware of the overhead network as kites, drones and model aircraft can get caught and become dangerous. Electricity can jump gaps so a toy doesn’t even have to touch the lines to become a serious hazard.

Neil Wilson, head of region for SSEN’s North Caledonia region, said: “Playing with high-flying equipment around power lines can be dangerous. If you are flying a kite and it gets caught in the overhead power lines, the electricity can travel down the cord and potentially cause serious injury. Thankfully in both of these recent incidents, our customers called in to inform us their kites were stuck and we managed to safely retrieve them and prevent anyone from getting hurt.

“As we approach the summer months and people are outside playing for longer, I’d urge everyone to keep a lookout for overhead lines before they start their activity. If your kite, drone or model aircraft makes contact or becomes entangled with our overhead lines, please don’t try to retrieve it – please contact us on the emergency number 105.”

SSEN has created a series of helpful tips that are designed to help its customers enjoy the better weather and longer evenings while steering clear of any electrical danger.

If a kite or toy is blown towards an electricity line you should: Let go of the string or any control wire immediately; Don’t attempt to pull the kite free, electricity can travel down the string; Keep yourself and others well away; and ring the emergency number, 105 and SSEN will safely remove the toys for you.

Model planes and drones can travel at very high speeds. If they strike a power line or crash into a substation, they can potentially damage an important piece of equipment and cause a power cut. Although playing near substations should always be avoided, sometimes toys can get stuck inside the fence. It is important that you don’t retrieve the items yourself, even if they look like they are in reach.

For more information, please visit ssen.co.uk/safety.