CRESTVIEW Walker Elementary School fifth-grader LaZaria Carr knows what to do if she sees someone being electrocuted.


CRESTVIEW Walker Elementary School fifth-grader LaZaria Carr knows what to do if she sees someone being electrocuted.



"Call 9-1-1!" she said.



Choctawhatchee Electrical Cooperative representative Kevin Campbell, who visited LaZaria's class this week, asked her to shout the answer so her classmates remember.



"Run, scream, call whatever you have to do to get help," Campbell said. "But don't touch them!"



Campbell and CHELCO's Stanley Donald demonstrated electricity safety procedures to LaZaria and her classmates in Debbie Bruning and Jacque Whittle's classes.



Using a model of a neighborhood with scale utility poles, buildings and a CHELCO utility truck, the men discussed the benefits of electricity, but also warned of its dangers if it is misused.



Shocking situations



One common danger is youngsters sticking things into electrical outlets, Campbell said.



"The voltage in your house can hurt you," he said. "I'm not an expert, but I don't think there's peanut butter and jelly in the wall. Don't stick a butter knife in the socket."



As Campbell maneuvered small figurines of "Neon Leon" and "Lightning Liz" into position, Donald explained that "electricity needs a path. Don't be that path."



Liz lit up when she came into contact with the model's electrical field. When Campbell pushed Leon to her "rescue," he, too, illuminated, demonstrating how someone touching a person who's being electrocuted can become energized themselves.



Responding to Campbell's question, students identified the No. 1 reason for power outages.



"Squirrels," Jacob Nelson said.



Campbell said one squirrel once got into an area power substation, shorted the equipment and knocked out power to 5,600 customers.



"When power goes out to just a few homes or a neighborhood, the first thing our linemen do is look under each transformer for a fried squirrel," Campbell said.



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.