Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Zap the Safety Bird

Back in the 1980's, Ontario Hydro (now Hydro One) launched a children's safety initiative featuring "Zap the Safety Bird."

They also offered a cut-out "Zap" (printed with electrical safety advice) which, when weighted with a penny at the end of each wing tip, would balance on your finger.  This was based on the "sky hook" principle.

 "Zap" was the brainchild of my dad when he was Communications Supervisor for Hydro.   Below, the tribute his staff drew up for his retirement in 1988:


Fawn said...

My dad worked for Ontario Hydro in the 80s. I remember getting Zap the Safety Bird stuff from open houses they would sometimes hold. Neat to learn a little about his creator.

I just Googled "Zap the Safety Bird" (and thus found this post) because a Facebook friend posted a pic of a safety warning on a big electrical box up here in Whitehorse, Yukon. The warning label shows a kid in front of a box and Zap shouting "No!" I didn't realize he was still around!

Brian said...

I remember before Zap they used to give out these comic books showing people doing stupid things and getting electrocuted, one guy with a pool skimmer hitting a power line is one I remember clearly, i wish i could remember the names of the books, maybe your dad would know

Unknown said...

OH MY GOD. We didn't have Zap out in SK, but we DO have the electrical box labels which, if you are unfamiliar with the.. art style.. of Zap, are completely baffling. This is a mystery of many, many years solved.

J.J. said...

Like Stephanie, I have been trying to figure out what the heck the mess of lines screaming "NO" to the child is supposed to be. Thanks so much for this. I was born in the 1980s in Vancouver and never encountered this character.

Gyula said...

Dear Duke,

I'd like to write a few lines abut Zap on my blog. Can I ask you some questions via email? (

Thanks a lot,