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DTE Energy reminds customers to be safe around electricity this summer

DETROIT, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- June is National Safety month, dedicated to helping prevent the more than 400 electrocutions that occur in the United States each year.  With the arrival of summer, DTE Energy reminds customers to be safe around electricity, especially when working or playing outdoors.   

"Safety is always DTE Energy's first priority," said Heather Rivard, vice president of Distribution Operations for DTE Energy. "While the electricity we provide is vital to our customers, it can also be dangerous. During the summer months especially, it's important for everyone to be mindful of their surroundings and consider safety first, at all times."   

DTE offers these tips to help customers be safe around electricity:

  • Keep ladders away from overhead power lines. Last year, more than 9 percent of electrocutions nationwide were caused by ladders coming into contact with power lines.  Ladders and other long tools should be kept 20 feet away from power lines.
  • Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) on electrical outlets that may get wet. If a person begins to receive a shock, the GFCI senses this and cuts off the power to prevent electrocutions.
  • Keep in mind that trimming trees near overhead power lines is not a "do-it -yourself" job. DTE recommends hiring a professional to complete any tree trimming near power lines.
  • Teach children not to climb trees near overhead wires. Even if the power lines aren't currently touching the tree, a child's weight might bring a branch in contact with the wires.
  • Call MISS DIG at 8-1-1 before you dig. Every 6 minutes an underground utility line in the U.S. is damaged because someone began to dig without first calling MISS DIG.  Call MISS DIG at least three business days before breaking ground on any landscaping project. Local utilities will use flags to mark the location of underground lines so you know what's below before you dig.  

While DTE Energy works year-round to provide customers with reliable service, this season also brings the possibility of severe weather which can cause outages. By following these tips, customers can stay safe in the aftermath of severe storms.

  • Stay 20 feet away from overhead power lines. Keep kids and pets away too.
  • Be extremely cautious near metal fences. Metal conducts electricity. If a downed wire is touching a metal fence, connecting fences can be energized and dangerous.
  • Wait until all repairs are complete before starting outdoor clean up. Energized power lines could be hidden in the brush.
  • Operate generators in well-ventilated areas only. Between 1999 and 2012, 79 percent of the 931 carbon monoxide fatalities were associated with generators.

For more information on electrical safety, visit dteenergy.com

About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.comtwitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.

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SOURCE DTE Energy

For further information: John Austerberry, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555, or Lisa Bolla, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555