Like Mike could send dangerous message to children
URBANA, Ill.The new 20th Century Fox movie Like Mike is prompting electric industry concern due to a scene that depicts an extremely hazardous, possibly fatal act. Safe Electricity encourages everyone to help children understand the difference between the fantasy presented by the movie and realitythat you can be killed by interfering with electrical equipment.
This is another opportunity for parents to help children understand that what they see in movies or other entertainment for the most part isnt real life, said Molly Hall, director of Safe Electricity. Children should understand that safety rules are to be followed at all times, even if they see someone do something dangerous and not get hurt on TV or in a movie.
Like Mike depicts a child who is struck by lightning while trying to retrieve a pair of sneakers off a utility line. The child and the sneakers then become super charged and enable the child to become a star basketball player like Michael Jordan.
In reality, such an act is extremely dangerous, and possibly fatal, Hall said. Contact with a power line can cause serious burns or electrocution.
Children who see the movie should be told never to climb trees or use other means to try to reach power lines, and not to throw objects at or over power lines or other electrical equipment.
Safe Electricity urges parents and others responsible for children to make sure they understand and follow these basic safety rules:
l Never climb trees near power lines. Even if the power lines arent touching the tree, they could touch when more weight is added to the branch.
l Fly kites and model airplanes in large open areas like a park or a field, safely away from trees and overhead power lines. If a kite gets stuck in a tree thats near power lines, dont climb up to get it. Contact your electric utility for assistance.
l Never climb a utility pole. Dont play on or around pad-mounted electrical equipment.
l If you see a power line on the ground, stay far away from it and warn others to stay away. Assume all downed lines are energized. Call your electric utility.
l Never go into an electric substation for any reasoneven on a dare. Electric substations contain high-voltage equipment which can kill you. Never rescue a pet that goes inside. Call your electric utility instead. Safe Electricity is a program of the Illinois Electric Council (IEC), a non-profit electric industry forum dedicated to promoting electric safety and efficiency. IEC members companies include investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and the University of Illinois. For more safety information, visit www.SafeElectricity.org.