Kite flyers warned of overhead power line dangers

Posted On 24 Jun 2015 at 1:22 pm

Kite flyers preparing to take part in next month’s Brighton Kite Festival are being urged to be aware of overhead power lines.

Brighton Kite Festival by Kirsteen on Flickr

Brighton Kite Festival by Kirsteen on Flickr

UK Power Networks, the company that runs the electricity network across London, the South East and East of England, is warning of the dangers in the run-up to the 37th annual festival in Stanmer Park on July 11 and 12.

UK Power Networks operates more than 48,000 kilometres of overhead lines carrying power to homes and businesses at anything from 240 to 132,000 volts.

Peter Vujanic, UK Power Networks’ Head of Health and Safety, said: “The summer and autumn months are popular times for families and youngsters to enjoy bright and blustery days flying kites. While we want everybody to have fun, it’s vital they know not to fly kites near power lines.

“Electricity can jump across gaps – just like lightning – and it can kill. People often don’t spot the danger when flying a kite near overhead lines so our message is always ‘look out and look up’. Many kites now have very long strings and it’s easy to misjudge distances, the consequences of which could be fatal.”

If your kite touches a power cable:

  • Let go of the string or any attached control wire immediately
  • Don’t attempt to touch the string to pull the kite free – high-voltage electricity can travel down string
  • Keep yourself and others well away
  • If a kite or anything else makes contact with an overhead line, do not try to retrieve it. If you leave it hanging and say nothing, someone else could get hurt or even killed by touching the string so contact UK Power Networks immediately on our 24-hour helpline 0800 316 3105 (or 0333 323 2105 if you’re calling from a mobile) and we will send a trained professional to remove it safely.

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