Everyone has certainly heard the story of how Benjamin Franklin used a kite to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity. However, did you know there is a day dedicated to flying a kite? It’s true, February 8 is celebrated as National Kite-Flying day. This is a great day to catch a gust of wind and let your kite soar in the air. Whether you made it yourself or bought it off the shelf, flying a kite is a cool way to spend some time outside. It can be relaxing and of course challenging to keep the kite aloft for more than a minute. Since their invention by the Chinese more than 2,500 years ago, kites of all sizes, shapes, and colors have brought entertainment for people of all ages.
There is a phrase you should know before you go out and fly a kite: Look Up and Live. Although typically used to remind customers to look for power lines when trimming trees, this safety precaution can apply to kite flying and can go a long way to keeping you safe and the power on for homes and businesses. Flying a kite is certainly fun however, kites that become tangled in electric wires can be dangerous and can result in power outages.
Keep these tips in mind when flying a kite:
- Fly kites in open areas and away from electricity poles, overhead power lines, trees and other obstacles.
- Kite lines conduct electricity, do not fly near overhead power lines.
- If a kite gets caught in overhead power lines, release the string at once. Do not pull the string or climb the pole.
- Only fly kites in dry weather. Never fly a kite during an electrical storm.
- Only use kites made of wood or plastic, never metal or mylar. Only use cloth for the tails.
- NEVER attempt to retrieve any kite caught in electric equipment. Instead, call 210-353-HELP (4357).
In 2019, 6,774 customers experienced a power outage caused by objects caught in CPS Energy equipment. Not all of those are kites, but together we can avoid preventable power outages.
Whether you’re a regular kite flyer or just celebrating the holiday, following these simple tips will help you stay safe. Happy flying!