So far this March has not been very windy, which is a little unusual since we often associate the month of March with flying kites.If the normal spring winds do finally arrive, there are some safety tips from Southwestern Electric Power Company that we would like to pass along to you.

AEP Swepco reminds its customers that metallic coatings on mylar helium balloons and on kites can cause damage to Swepco's electrical system and can cause power losses. And coming in contact with power lines is extremely dangerous.

Safety precautions should be taken by both adults and children concerning kites and power lines.

  • Never use wire, tinsel or any metal in kite construction or as a string, they can conduct electricity.
  • Never fly a kite near power lines. Electricity always takes the path of least resistance to the ground. It could likely go through the string to your body. Choose a wide open field, with no power lines nearby to fly kites.
  • If a kite does get caught in a power line, leave it there. Do not touch it or try to get it down. Parents should call the Swepco toll-free line for assistance at 1-888-216-3523, and properly trained personnel with safety equipment can remove the kite from the power line.
  • Do not fly kites on rainy days where there is a possibility of lightning. The lightning could use the string as a conductor to reach the ground. Wet strings are very good conductors of electricity.

If you remember to follow simple safety rules, you can have a fun and safe kite flying season this spring. That is, if we ever get any sunshine and enough March winds to get that kite in the sky!