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To show how dangerous electricity can be, IPL’s Safety 101 demonstrations use rather shocking illustrations involving flames three feet high, a hot dog cooked by electric currents in five seconds, and “Rocky,” a plastic squirrel with a penchant for power lines. In Safety 101, Rocky finds himself on a downsized version of the high-voltage equipment the audience sees every day — utility poles with working wiring, insulators and transformers — and he interrupts the flow of electricity, causing a surge of sparks and pops.
IPL’s Safety 101 teaches audiences — in a visual, entertaining way — how electricity is produced, how to use it safely, how to stay out of its way, and what can happen if you don’t. The presentation is led by senior linemen in full protective gear, who vividly explain that humans, because we’re made of water, are involuntary conductors of electricity. The audience (elementary, middle- and high-school students, police and fire personnel, and business and community groups) also sees what happens when inanimate objects — mylar balloons, tree limbs and hot dogs — are exposed to electricity.
Sure, it can be a bit shocking…but participants always get the picture.