It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no wait…it’s a kite!

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!

John Moreno

John is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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