Safety Tips During A Power Outage: Who To Call, What To Do When Lights Go Out

DETROIT (WWJ) – As DTE Energy works to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers affected by the worst weather event in its history, many without service are thinking about safety.

In response, DTE Energy is sharing the following safety tips:

To report a downed wire:
• Customers can call DTE at 800-477-4747 to report power outages or downed lines.

For those who need respite from the cold:
• More than 70 warming centers are open across the state. Click here for locations.

For those with medical needs:
• Call United Way’s 2-1-1 crisis hotline, which will help you find local resources, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
• Call 9-1-1 if it is urgent or life-threatening

For those running a generator:
• Never operate a generator inside your home or in other enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces, including garages
• A generator is a temporary power source and should never be used as a permanent solution
• The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends generators be positioned at least 20 feet from doors, windows and vents to prevent carbon dioxide from entering the home

To protect your home:
• Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing
• All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear
• Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children

To drain pipes:
• Locate your home’s main water shut-off valve. Turn to the off position. Turn on every water fixture in the house until the water stops running
• Open all faucets and flush all toilets in the house, starting with the top floor and working your way down

Safety is always a priority:
• Customers should stay at least 20 feet away from all power lines and anything they may contact, and consider them live. They are extremely dangerous.
• Treat every downed power line as if it is energized.
• Customers should also heed the warning of yellow caution tape, which indicates there is a downed power line in the area. DO NOT CROSS YELLOW CAUTION TAPE.

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