Detroit Edison Offers Winter Storm Tips


DETROIT, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Winter's arrival brings with it the possibility of severe weather. Detroit Edison continually prepares for the aftermath of winter storms that may hit Southeastern Michigan and urges its customers to do the same. Customers are reminded to keep safety as their top priority and to always stay away from any downed power lines that may result from winter storms.

When a power outage occurs, customers are encouraged to first check breaker panels or fuse boxes for tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses. If the home's electrical system is intact, determine the extent of the outage by checking to see whether neighbors also have a problem.

Report power outages and downed power lines by contacting Detroit Edison at 800.477.4747 or online at from a location that has power. Don't assume the utility knows you are without power. Your report and those of your neighbors help the utility identify the scope of power outages and aid in electric service restoration efforts.

Detroit Edison offers the following suggestions for preparing for and coping with a winter power outage:

  Before a storm
   * Assemble an emergency kit that is easily accessible. It should include
     a battery-powered radio or television, a flashlight and extra
     batteries, candles and matches or a lighter, a first-aid kit, a fire
     extinguisher, bottled water and non-perishable food. In addition, keep
     a corded or cell phone on hand because cordless telephones need
     electricity to operate.
   * Select a small, well-insulated room with a fireplace, wood stove or
     fuel-burning heater to use as emergency living quarters.  Keep an
     emergency supply of fuel or wood handy. For safety, always store fuel
     in a dry place away from the house.
   * In case of extended outages, blankets or cardboard can be hung over
     windows and doors to minimize heat loss.

  After a storm
   * Stay at least 20 feet away from a downed power line and anything it
     contacts, especially metal fences. Treat every downed power line as if
     it is energized and keep children and pets out of the area.
   * Don't open refrigerators and freezers more often than absolutely
     necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept
     closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.
     Partially thawed food or food that has ice crystals usually can be
   * Open faucets slightly so they constantly drip to prevent pipes from
   * A fuel-burning heater - such as kerosene - requires an area with proper
     ventilation to prevent buildup of harmful fumes. Keep portable heaters
     away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials.
   * Never use a gas range for heating or charcoal as an indoor heating or
     cooking source.
   * Turn off or unplug all major appliances to prevent an electrical
     overload when power is restored. Leave on one light to indicate when
     power is restored.
   * If using a portable generator, disconnect house circuits from Detroit
     Edison power lines. Pull or switch to "off" all main fuses or circuit
     breakers to protect line crews working to restore service. Always
     operate generators outdoors to avoid dangerous buildup of toxic fumes.
   * During low-voltage conditions - when lights are dim and television
     pictures are smaller - shut off motor-driven appliances such as
     refrigerators to prevent overheating and possible damage. Sensitive
     electronic devices also should be unplugged.
   * When clearing snow and ice from roofs and gutters, be sure to inspect
     the area for overhead power lines. Maintain a 20-foot clearance between
     the power lines and your ladder and tools. Contact with overhead lines
     can be deadly.
   * Listen to local radio stations for updates from Detroit Edison about
     electric service restoration efforts.

Customers may find information on safely operating portable generators and other storm and safety tips by visiting the utility's Web site at

Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Information about DTE Energy is available at

SOURCE: Detroit Edison

CONTACT: Eileen Dixon, +1-313-235-9154, or Lorie N. Kessler,
+1-313-235-8807, both of Detroit Edison

Web site: