Open your eyes

Cochran students learn about electrical safety

Cochran Elementary School students roared with laughter during a silly skit about electrical safety recently.

PPL Electric Utilities brought two actresses from the National Theatre for Children to perform an interactive play to find out who had been causing fires in the story. The students were able to be safety detectives to help them solve the mystery.

“The students need to understand the importance of being safe in their own homes,” said Tom Bartholomew, assistant principal.

During the performances for the second and third graders as well as for the first graders and kindergarteners, they were enthusiastic and engaged.

“Open your eyes! Be safety wise!” was the tagline the students were chanting along with the actresses. They pumped their fists in the air and had big smiles on their faces.

Having a phrase that the students can remember allows them to tell their families about the safety information they learned, he said.

In the play, a chef was talking about dangers in the home that could cause fires.

“Frayed wires can cause fires,” the actress said.

She made the message easy for them to understand by telling them if there are exposed wires on chargers or with their video game consoles, they could be dangerous.

They also were instructed to not put paper on top of light bulbs.

The next character they met was a dog trainer with stuffed animal dogs strapped to her feet.

She told the children to never have electrical devices near water such as having their phone near a pool.

“Water and electricity do not mix,” she said.

If there are fallen utility poles or wires down, she said to tell an adult straight away.

“Thunderstorms can knock down power lines, don’t go near them,” she said.

The actresses informed the students that there should be smoke alarms in each room of their home and that the batteries should be changed annually.

“It’s important (for children) to learn the basics, the show brings home the message in a fun way,” said Teri MacBride, PPL regional affairs director.

Safety is a priority for PPL so having a show focused around that allows communities to be more knowledgeable about electrical hazards.

By informing children with messages of safety, they likely will tell their family what they learned.

“Reaching out to children is a good way to get these messages across,” she said. “When kids are interested in learning new things, they take the messages back home.”

PPL targeted elementary schools so young children can learn some of the information for the first time. Around 20,000 students have seen the show over the last three years.