Imago Dei students learn about safety around electricity

Southern California Edison's Rene Morales demonstrates how people nearby a downed powerline can still be injured to the Imago Dei School students during an educational presentation at Trinity Classical Academy on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

With a model high-voltage power system and cityscape, representatives from Southern California Edison demonstrated the importance of electrical safety during an educational presentation at Trinity Classical Academy.

The program was designed to teach Imago Dei School students about the safe use of power cords, the need for caution when digging in their backyards, what to do if students see a downed power line and what to do in the event of an electrical fire.

“This is a presentation for anyone,” Edison Performance Resource Supervisor Scott Walker said.  “This type of communication to the public is important.”

The educational presentation was a follow-up to the students’ lessons in the fall semester about home maintenance and electricity inside the home.

“We teach technical education and the first semester we did a home maintenance module with plumbing, a breaker box and a light switch,” Imago Dei teacher Tim Smith said.  “We did lessons inside the house so now this is for outside the house.”

Using their high-voltage model, Southern California Edison’s Rene Morales and Emilio Alvarez demonstrated the dangers of coming into contact with downed wires outside of a car or on the street.

“What you never want to do is touch the car,” Morales told the group of students.  “If you see a downed power line, call 911.”

The workers also told students never to put water on an electrical fire and to not touch or play on transformers which can be unpredictable.

Students learned about the importance of being aware of trees that are close to wires because they can act as insulators and conductors.  Alvarez said residents are welcome to call Southern California Edison when they see trees growing into wires and the organization will trim back the branches at no cost.

During the presentation, students were also instructed to be aware of electrical wires, communications lines and gas lines when doing any work at home, including gardening and excavating.

“Anytime you do any kind of excavating, call 811 and they’ll send out a dig alert and they have 48 hours to survey it,” Alvarez said.

The surveyors will then place colored flags in the ground or spray paint on the ground to tell workers and residents where wires and lines are located beneath the earth.

“Just because you don’t see a power line doesn’t mean it’s not below you,” Morales said.

Imago Dei School students Ethan McMath, left, and Katy Tennesen, right, watch as a Southern California Edison worker demonstrates the boom following an educational presentation about high voltage power lines at Trinity Classical Academy on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Students also learned about the clean energy the Santa Clarita Valley uses—including wind, steam, solar, diesel-fire and hydro—before inspecting a Southern California Edison truck and watching Alvarez demonstrate the truck’s boom.

“I’d be scared of heights if I was in there,” Imago Dei student Josh Wilson said of the boom operation.

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