Electrical Safety Tips for Educational Environments

electrical safety in education

Classrooms today are built around technology. We use electronic devices and high tech machinery in many of our classes. That technology does not evaporate when we graduate, either. Many of the jobs we work as adults utilize a very similar mix of machines and devices. With all that power pulsing through our classrooms, it’s becoming increasingly important that we teach electrical safety in educational institutions.

Why Electrical Safety in Education Is Important

Practicing electrical safety is important any time we are using equipment that draws power, but it is especially important in educational settings. Kids are naturally curious, and that curiosity carries a possibility for disaster when we are working with high voltage machinery and the power it operates on. Electrical safety in education can prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths by supporting that curiosity in fun and informative ways.

Protecting Students

When it comes to the importance of electrical safety, no reason looms larger than the safety of our students. Teaching concepts that relate to electrical safety in educational environments ensures all students have the necessary knowledge to work safely around electrical equipment, now and in the future.

Maintaining Equipment

Aside from keeping our kids safe, teaching electrical safety also keeps our equipment working properly. Improper use of electronics can easily damage expensive equipment. In order to keep it operating for the long haul, it’s important that we teach electrical safety precautions before we begin our work.

electrical safety for chidlren

Electricity Safety: Lessons to Last a Lifetime

Since so much of our lives are based around electrical equipment, this is the type of educational training that will be useful for a lifetime. At the very least, it’s important that students understand the basics of working with electricity in order to keep them safe. Here are some simple safety lessons for kids that will teach them the basics.

Electricity Safety 101

Any time we find ourselves working around powerful sources of electricity, there are some basic electrical safety fundamentals that we should always be aware of. Introducing this fundamental knowledge through electrical safety lessons in education greatly decreases the chance that we will be injured when working with electrical equipment.

Know How to Cut the Power Supply

Any time electricity is not acting the way we intend it to, the first step in eliminating the threat is to cut the power. Many students will instinctually turn off the power to the device being used, but that won’t always solve the problem. Sometimes we need to turn off the power to the entire area.

We cut power to specific areas either by tripping the local circuit breaker or power main. If the problem is contained to one specific circuit, flipping that switch will usually solve the problem. If not, flipping the main power switch will cut power to the entire house, building, or wing.

Clearly Label Breakers and Fuses

Both the power main and all the circuit breakers are almost always located in the breaker box. However, if we reach the breaker box and find that things are not labeled, cutting power can become more difficult than it needs to be. Proper labeling allows us to cut power to the right place without wasting any time.

Teaching the labeling of circuit breakers and fuses as a lesson in electrical safety in educational settings will serve students well in the future. Losing power can catch us off guard, but if we still have power in parts of the house, knowing we can consult our well-organized breaker box for a solution provides some comfort.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Before we begin working with anything that could present a potential hazard, it’s important that we first put on any PPE associated with that task. In the same way a nurse or doctor first puts on scrubs, rubber gloves, and a mask before performing their work, people working with electricity wear protective equipment to keep them safe. According to OSHA, some standard PPE for working with electricity includes:

  • Safety glasses
  • Face shields
  • Hard hats
  • Safety shoes
  • Insulating (rubber) gloves with leather protectors
  • Insulating sleeves
  • Flame-retardant clothing

Equipment Safety

One of the leading contributors to electricity related accidents and injuries is the improper use of electronics. This may involve incorrect usage, but it can also include using equipment that is unsafe for use. There are some things we should always check before using any piece of equipment that draws power. It is an important part of electrical safety in educational and vocational settings alike.

Check Cords for Damage before Using Equipment

Cords that are frayed or cut can cause electrical hazards in a couple of ways. First, they can create an arc which may short out the piece of equipment. This has the potential to damage equipment and injure the user. Second, having a hot wire exposed can lead to electrocution. If someone touches it with their body or another object, they could get a jolt that requires medical attention. If a cord is frayed, do not use that piece of equipment until necessary repairs have been made.

Don’t Plug Too Many Machines into a Single Outlet

Plugging too many machines into a single outlet can overload the circuit. In most modern homes, this will cause a circuit breaker to trip, automatically cutting off power to the entire circuit. This simply requires that you reduce the load and flip the circuit breaker. But, if you’re in an old building, this can easily lead to bigger problems. An overloaded circuit can generate heat behind the wall plate and start a fire.

Only Plugs Go in Outlets

Another easy way to short out a circuit and possibly do some serious damage is to stick a foreign object into the outlet. Most of us know this already, but it’s an important thing to reinforce when teaching electrical safety in education.

Electricity can travel through the object and into your hand. The shock can lead to muscle contractions, muscle pain, and abnormal heart rhythms. In some cases, this can be fatal, so never stick anything but plugs into electrical outlets.

Do Not Use Electrical Equipment around Water

Electricity and water do not mix. All areas where electrical equipment is being used should be kept clean and dry, and drinking of beverages should be discouraged in the immediate area. These are very common rules in any workplace filled with expensive electronics. Teaching these lessons on electrical safety in educational environments gives kids a leg up when they reach the working world.

Electrical Safety for Kids

Electricity is an essential part of modern life, but it can also be incredibly dangerous if we do not know how to properly use it and treat it with respect. Prioritizing electrical safety for students will keep everyone safe, prevent damage to equipment, and give students essential knowledge for the future.

Teaching electrical safety in education ensures all students know the basics of staying safe around sources of electricity and the equipment that runs on it. Since so much of our world runs on electricity, it’s important that these lessons reach every student in every school.

NTC offers a wide range of creative, story-based learning programs on behalf of clients that increase electrical safety in education across the country. Each program is designed to be inclusive and reach all types of learners. Sponsoring electrical safety programs in your school community keeps kids safe today and helps them learn lifelong safety habits.

Electrical Safety Tips for Educational Environments