Peoria - There's nothing like 7,200 volts of electricity frying a squirrel to capture the attention of high school students.

Although the squirrel was fake and the demonstration professionally supervised, the point was certainly delivered to a group of Manual High School students Thursday morning: Don't mess with electrical equipment.

Kyle Finley, a former electrical lineman and current owner of Live Line Demo Inc., presented tips on how to safely approach electricity by showing several situations illustrating the dangers of electrical power.

Here are five tips on how to safely handle electricity:

- Cover electrical outlets around the house with plugs so young children cannot tamper with them. This includes outlets behind TVs, couches and other hard to reach places.

- Use GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlets around areas that are frequently wet, such as bathrooms and kitchens. GFI outlets have reset and power buttons on them.

- When performing chores such as painting around the house or putting up guttering, watch out for the service wire that runs to the house. Carrying 120 volts, it's deadly.

- If you see a down wire, always assume it is live and active until a lineman comes and gives the OK. Just because you can't hear it, smell it, see it or feel it, assume it is hot.

- If in a car accident involving an electrical line, never get out of the car. If you step out, you will create a path to the ground, possibly causing electrocution. Contrary to popular belief, you aren't grounded because of your tires, you are grounded because you have not given a direct path to the ground.


Source: Kyle Finley, owner of Live Line Demo, Inc.

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Feb. 1, 2008 at 10:36 AM

Did they give out any good squirrel recipes afterwards?   LOL  I think that would have been a very interesting demo.  Anything to get students attention is a good thing to me.

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Feb. 1, 2008 at 10:50 AM I guess they had that very thing here at work a couple of years ago. Except it wasn't fake. They lost electricity for a day and email and whatnot for almost a week. And I work for a pretty big national company. It was before my time here.

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