expands safety content, features

URBANA— The Web site has a new look and several hundred pages of new content, including enhanced offerings for educators, kids and Hispanic consumers. A 28-minute dynamic live power line demonstration can also be viewed on the Web site.

The Electric Universe has been added to the Safe Electricity section for youth and educators. The new online addition includes interactive games, activities and exercises, teacher lesson plans and classroom experiments. It compliments the existing resources that have been available to youth and teachers since the Safe Electricity Web site went online in 2001.

“Among the improved Web site offerings, we are excited about the Electric Universe addition and it’s potential for getting more life-saving information to children and teachers,” said Molly Hall, director of Safe Electricity. “Likewise, the live power line demonstration is a great resource for people of all ages and leaves a strong impression about the power of electricity and the need for safety awareness.”

Accidents and fires involving electricity result in more than a thousand deaths and tens of thousands of injuries. Prevention of electricity-related tragedies is the goal of Safe Electricity.

The new Electric Universe section includes in its “Power of Learning” offerings many interactive activities to engage young people and raise interest in electrical safety. Children also learn about tree and power line safety, electrical emergencies and electrical hazards like overloaded outlets in the home.

A powerful electrical safety demonstration called a Live Line Demo also can be viewed by logging onto the Safe Electricity Web site. The dramatic display by a former utility lineman reveals electrifying information, and delivers its important safety message in a manner easily comprehended by adults and children alike.

In its commitment and increased efforts to reach Hispanic audiences, the Web site expansion also includes a new Spanish section. Many elements of the Safe Electricity program materials, such as seasonal articles, news releases and radio public service announcements, have been translated into Spanish since 2002. The new Spanish Web site section compiles all available Spanish electrical safety educational materials into one convenient online resource.

“There is great potential for using these new educational tools,” said Jay Solomon, University of Illinois Extension Educator. “Not only are they important resources for schools, they’ll make wonderful additions to after-school and summer day camp programs. Kids surfing from home will find plenty to enjoy online.” is a detailed, easy-to-use resource for homeowners, farmers, contractors, business owners, public safety officials as well as teachers and youth—anyone who has questions or needs to know about electrical safety. The site also lists additional resources, such as videotapes and instructional materials that are available for borrowing, and links to other safety information sites.

The award-winning Safe Electricity program was launched in May 2001 as a joint safety effort of nearly three-dozen organizations, including electric utilities, electric cooperatives, and the University of Illinois. Designed to compliment utilities’ and safety educators’ existing safety programs, Safe Electricity is a program of the Illinois Electric Council (IEC), a not-for-profit electric industry forum dedicated to promoting electric safety and efficiency.

Safe Electricity has grown to include sponsors and utility partners across the nation, including several Midwestern electric providers and other entities dedicated to promoting the safe use of electricity.

“We know that information and awareness create life-saving attitudes and actions,” Hall said. “Helping educate people to avoid tragic accidents, injuries and death is what Safe Electricity is all about.”

For more electrical safety information, or information about the Safe Electricity program, visit

From the March 30-April 5, 2005 issue

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