DETROIT – DTE Energy is launching a $900,000 education program to inform the public – children in particular – about downed wire safety, and will provide funding to purchase electrical safety equipment and train local fire departments across Southeast Michigan.

DTE developed a comprehensive strategy to further emphasize public safety and educate residents about downed power lines following the Michigan Public Service Commission’s investigation into the May 4, 2018 wind storm.  Tragically, a customer who came in contact with a downed wire died.

“Safety of the public and our employees is always DTE’s No. 1 priority, and this new education and training program enhances our downed wire safety commitment,” said Heather Rivard, senior vice president, Distribution Operations. “Our post-storm assessment revealed an opportunity for a stronger emphasis around educating our customers about what to do if a power line falls. Touching a downed wire can be deadly and we need to make sure our customers know this; nothing is more important than their safety. The program, agreed to by the Michigan Public Service Commission, provides the framework for us to make a positive impact on the safety of our customers.”

The program includes:

  • A contract with the National Energy Foundation (NEF) to develop and deliver electrical safety education to students from kindergarten through fifth grade
  • Funding to the Michigan Fire Services Instructors Association to purchase electrical safety equipment and provide wire down training to local fire departments within DTE’s Southeast Michigan service territory

“We are exploring every avenue at our disposal to share our safety messages. We are proud to power Southeast Michigan, and we want to make sure the public stays safe around electricity,” Rivard said.

DTE reminds its customers that if they see a downed power line, stay at least 20 feet away and report it, either through the DTE mobile app or call 800.477.4747.

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