Stay safe when flying kites

editorial image

The region’s electricity distributor Northern Powergrid, is reminding people to stay safe and stay away from the electricity network when flying kites after an incident which saw a kite caught up in its 20,000 volt overhead power lines.

The kite was reported by a passer-by to Northern Powergrid’s 24/7 local contact centre when he spotted it tangled in overhead power lines whilst walking his dog on a public footpath.

The electricity distributor’s control room were able to quickly isolate power supplies in the area to prevent the possibility of anyone receiving an electric shock.

Around 2,285 customers had their power cut for around 30 minutes whilst Northern Powergrid’s engineer removed the kite from the high voltage power network.

Geoff Earl, Northern Powergrid’s director of safety, health and environment, said: “Flying a kite is an activity that many of us would never think could have potentially fatal consequences.

“Power lines on wooden poles carry voltages of up to 132,000 volts and electricity can jump gaps as well as travel through string, especially during wet weather – making flying a kite anywhere near the power network extremely dangerous.

“Thankfully no one was hurt during this incident, however it could have very easily had a very different outcome had the gentleman not quickly realised the danger and done the right thing by contacting us so we could isolate the power network.

“The kite could easily have been found by local children and so we are encouraging all parents and guardians to spend a few minutes reminding the young people in their lives about the very real dangers of the electricity network.”

When flying a kite always remember -

Choose a safe place to fly your kite, well away from any overhead power lines or substations.

If for any reason a kite comes into contact with an overhead power line, stay well clear and report it immediately by calling 105. Northern Powergrid will attend and remove it free of charge.

Parents are being encouraged to visit northernpowergrid.com to download Northern Powergrid’s free fun safety activity booklet and watch a video about how Jack did the right thing after his kite got stuck in power lines.

To report an electricity network safety issue or a power cut, contact Northern Powergrid by calling 105. The number, which is free to call, directs people to their electricity distributor’s 24-hour contact centre. Information about power cuts or how to get extra support is also available on northernpowergrid.com or 24/7 on social media (Facebook and @NorthPowergrid).