- The national grid suffered 154 electric power outages through July 2022 due to kite strings caught in the overhead cables.
Santiago, August 27, 2022 - Enel Distribución has launched "Volantín Seguro 2022" (Safe Kite 2022), an information campaign designed to reduce the number of accidents and power outages caused by the use of glass-coated kite strings in non-suitable areas, close to power lines.
The launch took place this morning at Parque O'Higgins and was attended by the Minister of Energy, Claudio Huepe and Víctor Tavera, general manager of Enel Distribución. The event included a live demonstration of how accidents can happen when flying kites with glass-coated string close to power lines, resulting in electrocutions and falls from heights when people try to recover their kites.
"For more than 30 years, we have been providing recommendations and promoting best practices to ensure that this traditional and family activity can be enjoyed safely and responsibly, without accidents. Over the years, Enel's Volantín Seguro educational campaign has succeeded in reducing both the number of accidents and power cuts that end up affecting our customers," said Víctor Tavera, general manager of Enel Distribución.
From 2010 to date, we have recorded 17,865 incidents related to using glass-coated kite wire in problematic areas, damaging our electrical network, and interrupting household connections.
While we saw a 57% increase in 2020 in kite flying-related incidents on our distribution network compared to 2019, the number of incidents fell by 39% in 2021 compared to 2020.
Most outages are caused by glass-coated string caught in the cable support insulators. When the bad weather comes several months later, this can cause short circuits or cut a power line completely.
Enel recorded some 154 kite-string-related power outages through July 2021.
Risks of kite flying and using metallic balloons
Children risk getting electrocuted, suffering from severe burns and injuries, or even death when their kites get tangled in high-voltage electrical cables.
And unsafe kite flying can lead to other hazards such as getting run over by a car when crossing the street without looking and falls caused by running after a kite or climbing poles, towers, and trees to recover them.
Helium-inflated metallic balloons, which are eye-catching and entertaining for children all year round, can also pose a risk when used too close to electricity networks. These balloons contain metallic fibers, which conduct electricity when contacting power cables and can cause short circuits, service interruptions, and even electrocutions.
Enel Distribución started the "Volantín Seguro" campaign over 30 years ago in response to the high number of fatal accidents occurring, mainly during Chile's national independence day holiday, due to people not taking the necessary precautions when flying kites.
Millions of kites are manufactured in Chile annually and sold mainly in September, which increases the risk of accidents over the national independence day holiday.
- Do not use metal or aluminum foil when making kites
- Do not use glass-coated string or nylon
- Check that you are in a safe place when flying your kite
- Do not fly kites close to power lines
- Do not climb poles, towers, or trees to recover a kite
- Do not cross streets when flying kites because being distracted can lead to accidents.