BPU Urges Pokémon Go Players to Use Caution

KCK Board of Public UilitiesThe Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is reminding players of the popular Pokémon Go game to stay far away from power plants, electric substations and other electric equipment. The augmented reality application sends players on the hunt to "catch" animated Pokémon characters that appear overlaid on a live scene viewed through a phone. As players move to various locations to find new characters, it is important that players stay aware of their surroundings and keep clear of electric equipment.

"We know you want to #CatchEmAll, but always do so at a safe distance from electric substations and other electric equipment," said David Mehlhaff, BPU Chief Communications Officer. "Entering an electric substation is both a crime and incredibly dangerous, and members of the public should never attempt to gain access for any reason. Another capture is not worth the risk of serious injury. Utilities cannot control where the Pokémon appear, making it important for players to make sure they catch their Pokémon from a safe distance.”

Mehlhaff added that online threads are reporting the “electric” type of Pokémon can be found near electrical sites.

BPU urges parents of children who play the game to talk to them about how to be safe around electricity, and to always heed all instructions on signs and warnings related to electric equipment. Important safety tips:

  • Stay out of electrical facilities, such as substations and power plants, even if the game leads to that equipment.
  • NEVER touch electrical equipment, including transformers and power lines.
  • NEVER enter an active work zone, which could contain moving equipment and excavations.
  • Do not climb power poles or throw things into power lines.
  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen because they can still be energized.
  • Power lines near trees also pose a danger; exercise caution and check for power lines before climbing a tree.

. . . Happy Hunting!