Educating kids about electric safety hazards is extremely important to DTE. As we strive to be 200 percent accountable for safety, that should extend to our children too.

To do so, we’ve partnered with the National Energy Foundation (NEF) to visit schools and give in class presentations about the potential dangers of electricity and how kids can take necessary safety precautions. Our presenters are experts in interactive teaching and presenting the information in a way that resonates with our younger audience.

“This idea and partnership developed when we sat down and brainstormed how we can better prepare kids to handle potentially serious hazards,” said Heather Rivard, senior vice president of Electric Distribution at DTE. “We stress it so much with our coworkers, it seemed fitting to bring that awareness to students as well.”

In 2019, the team visited 218 schools and gave 303 presentations, reaching 26,145 students. Combined with the materials we’ve mailed to classrooms, we’ve educated more than 56,000 students about electric safety hazards.

The feedback from the program has been overwhelmingly positive. Teachers, students and community members have all reached back out to us to share their appreciation.

The presentations include interactive boards that show kids potential safety hazards in everyday life.

“I had the pleasure of attending two of the presentations,” said William Diamond, Hamtramck Fire Marshall. “Both presentations were remarkable and perfect for the age groups (3rd and 4th grade). The presenters did an excellent job keeping the kids involved, having fun and getting them to learn about electrical and fire safety. I highly recommend this program.”

Students from around the state have shown their gratitude by showering our instructors and DTE with thank you cards. The cards include many thoughtful messages and pictures expressing how much they learned and how they’re going to pass on the information to their family and friends.

Our efforts won’t stop there.

In 2020, we’re continuing the program with more than 200 in school presentations for grades 3-5 currently being scheduled. We’re also looking for additional opportunities within our communities during the summer months to further drive awareness.

“We’re trying to create a pipeline for safe practices,” Rivard said. “Exposing students to best safety practices and how to react to hazards at a young age is the first step.”