It’s finally summer and there’s so much to see, do and enjoy in southeast Michigan. Whether you’re heading to the lake, your local farmer’s market or one of the many area weekend art fairs or festivals, it’s important to keep safety top-of-mind. This is especially true after we’ve experienced a summer storm, which can sometimes bring down trees and power lines. DTE Energy is committed to helping you and your family stay safe, especially when it comes to recognizing the hazards associated with downed power lines. Whatever the season, downed power lines can be difficult to identify. Please exercise caution around power lines and keep these important safety tips in mind. 

Electric power safety tips: 

  • Look up to know what’s down. Spotting a downed power line isn’t always easy. Wires can become concealed between trees and tree branches, in tall weeds or grass and can be mistaken for sticks. After a storm, make sure to look up at nearby poles to see if a line has fallen to the ground.  
  • Assume all downed lines are energized. Downed power lines can still be energized even if they don’t spark, smoke or buzz. A downed wire can still deliver a deadly shock and can energize the ground and objects around it. 
  • Stay a school bus length away. If you do see a downed power line, stay at least 25 feet away from it – that’s about the length of a school bus. Keep children and pets away as well. Remember to also stay away from anything near the line, including fences, garages, vehicles garbage cans, gutters and swing sets, to name just a few examples.  
  • Call it in. If you see a downed power line, stay out of harm’s way and call 9-1-1 or contact DTE at 800.477.4747 to report it. Don’t assume someone else has done so already. By reporting the issue promptly, you’ll help DTE identify a potential public safety hazard quickly so we can prioritize our response. 
  • Never cross yellow caution tape. Caution tape shows that a hazardous situation exists. When DTE tapes off an area with yellow caution tape, it means there is hazard within that area. It could be anything from a downed power line to a low-hanging line or a broken pole. It has been placed for your safety, warning you to stay away from the area.  

Visit dteenergy.com/wiresafety for more info about how to be safe around electricity. 

 Summer family safety tips  

As we all get ready to enjoy more sunny days and warmer temperatures, the summer season also has its own set of electrical safety considerations. Here are a few reminders to help you make the most of your summer – and stay safe while spending more time outdoors.  

  • Be ready for severe weather. Prepare an Emergency Outage Kit stocked with food, water, medication, batteries, flashlights and other items you might need.  
  • Never swim near a boat, marina or launching pad during inclement weather. Docks and boats can carry sources of electricity. In addition, faulty wiring or the use of damaged electrical cords and other devices can cause the surrounding water to become energized and you risk being a victim of Electric Shock Drowning.  
  • If you need to use a generator, remember to keep it outside. Don’t run it inside your home, garage or other enclosed building. 
  • Never use household cords near water and be sure to replace any water-damaged electrical equipment. 
  • Should a power outage occur, report it on the DTE Outage Center mobile app or at outage.dteenergy.com. Use flashlights (such as LED flashlights that can be very bright) instead of candles to reduce the risk of fire. 
  • Never plug extension cords into one another, do not overload them, and make sure you check to see if they are rated for indoor or outdoor use.