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Tips for Kids

How electricity travels

Water and metal are some of the best ways for electricity to get to the ground.  Our bodies made up of lots of water so if we touch the electricity circuit and the ground at the same time, the electricity will travel through our bodies to get to the ground.

For example, your body will carry the electricity to the ground if you are touching water and electricity at the same time. This is why it's so important to keep all electrical appliances away from water, and to make sure your hands are dry and you are not standing in water when you touch anything electrical. It's also the reason no one should ever use water on an electrical fire, but should use a multipurpose (ABC) fire extinguisher instead.

Appliances have protective insulated cords and coverings to keep you from contacting the electricity inside.

If the cord insulation or the appliance covering becomes damaged in any way, you are at risk of contacting a bare live wire, which could cause a serious shock.

Ever wondered about the birds?  How come they touch the power lines and don’t get shocked?

Remember electricity is always looking to get to the ground, but since birds are not touching the ground or anything in contact with the ground, they can sit on the wire.

You would be seriously injured or even killed by touching a power line and the ground at the same time. If your kite or balloon was caught in a line and you pulled the string, the electricity would travel through your body to get to the ground.

Trees and power lines

Always double check there are no power lines near the tree you're about to climb.

Never climb or play in trees near power lines.

Never touch a power line with your hand or with any other object, whether you are in a tree or on the ground.

Tell an adult if you see trees growing close to power lines or contacting these lines.

If you see a power line that has fallen into a tree or onto the ground, stay away and tell an adult immediately. Even if they are not sparking or humming, fallen lines can kill you if you touch them or the ground nearby.

Contact NB Power before digging to be sure you aren’t near underground power lines.


  • Keep kites and balloons away from power lines.
  • Never go swimming during a lightning storm.
  • If you see something stuck or tangled in a power line, contact NB Power. Never try to remove the item from the power lines yourself.
  • Do not climb utility poles.
  • Keep away from electric substations.
  • Stay at least a bus length away from a fallen power line.
  • Never touch anything or anyone touching a wire that is down. Call 911
  • Never touch a power line with any part of your body or any object.
  • If a friend, family member or pet is in contact with a downed electrical line or any type of electrical equipment, call 911.
  • If you are operating an electrical tool, using an electrical appliance or playing with an electrical toy outside, stay far way from water.
  • Do not touch any electrical tools, appliances or toys if you are wet, standing in a puddle or are in a pool.