JACKSON, Mich., June 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Now that Mother Nature is bringing the heat of summer to Michigan, Consumers Energy is reminding the public to stay safe while working or playing outside.
"The safety of our customers, communities, employees and general public has always been the top priority for Consumers Energy," said Aaron Kantor, director of emergency management and public safety for Consumers Energy. "Whether people are looking up to perform chores on a ladder, catching wind to fly a kite or hoist a sail, or have their sights set on the ground as they excavate for a project, Consumers Energy wants everyone to stay safe as they participate in summer activities."
He advised residents to always "look up and look out" for overhead electric lines when participating in outdoor activities. "Always assume a power line is energized and therefore dangerous. Stay away from them, and teach children to stay away, too," Kantor said.
It is important to look for and avoid power lines when you:
- Move a ladder or clean gutters
- Work on top of a building
- Install an antenna or satellite dish
- Trim trees, complete outside painting projects, move a sailboat or clean a pool with metal handle tools
Safety standards require that anyone working near power lines stay at least 10 feet away,
including any tools or equipment being used. Metal ladders, cranes and other specialized equipment require 20 feet of clearance. If your project requires you or your equipment to be positioned within the minimum safety distances, contact Consumers Energy so other arrangements can be made to ensure safety (such as de-energizing the line).
Kantor offered these "Look Up" summer safety tips to remember when participating in outdoor activities:
- Never climb trees near overhead power lines or allow children to play near electrical equipment, and stay away from a tree that has power lines running through it. If a tree branch breaks and lands on an electric line, do not touch the branch or wire.
- Do not fly kites, model airplanes and radio-controlled devices near electric lines, transformers, substations and radio antennas. These items can cause an injury, power outage or fire if they become tangled in power lines. Do not try to remove anything from power lines.
Before undertaking small digging projects like planting bushes and trees, to large jobs like
installing decks and fences, Kantor advised residents to "Know What's Below." Other safe digging tips:
- Contact MISS DIG 811 by calling 811 or online at MISSDIG811.org at least three working days in advance of digging to have underground utilities marked by flags or paint. This is a free service and will help avoid potentially dangerous dig-in damages to underground utility lines
- Confirm all underground facilities have been marked before you dig by checking Positive Response by calling 811 or visiting response.missdig811.org
- Once you are sure underground lines have been marked, respect the marks, hand expose to verify their location and dig with care
- Teach children to leave the colored staking flags in the ground so safe digging can occur
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy