Don#039;t be #039;Like Mike#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Sometimes children can't resist the urge to imitate what they see in a movie in an effort to be like the star. However, doing so may sometimes be very dangerous in "real life." 20th Century Fox's new summer kids' movie "Like Mike," released this month, depicts a youth climbing a tree, grabbing shoes off a power line and being struck by lightning, giving him new-found NBA-quality super powers. "Like Mike" is rated PG, which cautions parents that some material may not be suitable for children.

"In real life this type of behavior is extremely dangerous and can even be fatal," says Ed Short, Covington Electric Cooperative CEO and general manager. "We encourage parents to discuss electrical power line safety with their children. Contact with power lines is extremely dangerous. CEC has a year-round approach to electrical safety, and works very hard to teach children of the potential for danger," said Short.

Included in CEC's efforts are special safety presentations to school children and the public. "All of our efforts to educate children of the dangers of power lines are useless if children think they'll obtain 'super powers' from contacting power lines," said Short. "We urge parents to reinforce electrical safety habits through family discussions."

Covington Electric Cooperative recommends the following tips for staying safe near power equipment:

Assume all lines are energized and carrying electricity.

Never climb a power pole or other electrical equipment.

Look up and stay aware of the location of overhead power lines to avoid making contact with them.

Check trees for overhead wires running near or through limbs and branches before climbing. If lines are present, do not climb the treefor any reason.

If you see others climbing or playing around power equipment, urge them to move away.

Keep all kites and other objects away from overhead power lines. If a kite does become tangled in electrical wires, make no attempt to remove it.

Patty Singleton

Communications Specialist

Covington Electric Cooperative