As students, teachers and parents get ready for back-to-school, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is pleased to announce the launch of its third annual Wires Down Video Challenge to raise awareness about the importance of electrical safety among elementary school-aged children. From Sept. 8 until Nov. 14, 2014, elementary school students (kindergarten through fifth grade) in public and private elementary schools across BGE’s electric service area are encouraged to submit 30 to 45-second videos of their interpretation of BGE’s popular “Wires Down” electrical safety commercial for the chance to win up to $10,000 to fund a school enrichment program. At least one winning school will be chosen from each participating county.
The Emmy Award winning “Wires Down” commercial was produced in 2000 and with its “do not, do not, do not touch” refrain, the commercial introduced a memorable song that educated young children about the dangers of downed power lines. In 2012, BGE re-introduced “Wires Down” to a new generation of elementary school students with the establishment of the Wires Down Video Challenge to provide educators with a fun and creative way to teach students about electrical safety, while also promoting teamwork and school spirit. The challenge also provides an opportunity for the teachers and students to share important electrical safety information with their families and friends. Since inception of the Wires Down Video Challenge, BGE has awarded $50,000 to fund school enrichment programs at 19 schools throughout the BGE service area.
“At BGE, safety is our top priority and we believe it is essential for children to know the dangers of downed power lines and to learn the importance of electrical safety,” said Calvin G. Butler Jr., chief executive officer for BGE. “We are eager to launch the third annual Wires Down Video Challenge and we appreciate the continued efforts of educators, family members and friends to help share this important message with students. We look forward to seeing all of the creative entries from this year’s participants.”
Participating schools in the third annual Wires Down Video Challenge will have the opportunity to win the following awards:
- BGE Star Power Award – $10,000
- BGE Spotlight Award – $5,000
- BGE Cast and Crew Award (awarded for most student effort) – $3,000
- BGE Director’s Cut Award (awarded to the most creative entry) – $3000
- BGE Golden Pipes Award – (awarded to best musical performance) – $3,000
- BGE Screen Gem Award (awarded to best entry in each county) – $1,000
- Rock The Vote! Award (awarded to the entry with the most votes) – Backpacks and safety gear
Visit www.bgevideochallenge.com for contest information, including official rules, downloadable entry kit and tips. Watch the Wires Down Video Challenge sizzle reel to see highlights from the previous two years.
Last year the William S. Baer School, a special education school which serves students ages three to 21, earned the “BGE Spotlight Award” for their entry. The Baer School used the $5,000 school enrichment award to purchase four desktop computers and four laptops. These tools help educators and staff at the school actively engage their students via the latest technology. You can view their second place winning video here.
“BGE has a long-standing commitment to ensuring public safety and supporting educational initiatives in our communities,” said Butler. “Our Wires Down Video Challenge does both. In addition to this contest, we provide schools and students with energy safety and other educational materials on safety, including classroom lessons, teacher guides, experiments and games – all of which are available on our e-Smart Kids website.”
A variety of energy safety resources, including demonstrations and online educational materials, are made available to the public through the Wires Down Video Challenge. Online educational materials such as: classroom lessons, teachers’ guides and experiments are available on our educational portal, e-Smart Kids. BGE also provides free in-school electric safety demonstrations conducted by a BGE lineman. Teachers or administrators interested in a natural gas or electric safety demonstration at their school should send an email to [email protected].
BGE asks all customers stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately by calling 1.800.685.0123. Please share the following electrical safety information with your community:
- Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down, appears to be insulated or if power is out at nearby premises.
- Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call BGE at 1.800.685.0123 to report fallen electric lines.
- Keep yourself and equipment at least 10 feet away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities.
- If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.
- Avoid touching anything that may be coming into contact with an overhead wire like tree limbs or other debris.
- If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call emergency services.
- Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water.
- Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.
- Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment that has gotten wet before energizing it.
- If working in damp locations, inspect electric cords and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and free of defects, and use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
- Always use caution when working near electricity.
Visit BGE.com for more information about the third annual Wires Down Video Challenge. To access resources please visit the Wires Down Video Challenge site, theElectrical Safety page or the e-Smart Kids portal.
BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 655,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2013 revenues of approximately $24.9 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
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