JACKSON, Mich., April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy has tips to help keep Michigan residents safe as they enjoy the season marked by the sounds of kids playing outside, the sights of sprouts poking through garden soil and the smells of freshly mowed lawns.
"Residents in Michigan can become a little out of practice during our long winters at working safely when we do get a chance to spend time outside," said Aaron Kantor, Consumers Energy's manager of public safety outreach and damage prevention. "It's important to stay safe while taking advantage of the pleasant weather Mother Nature provides this time of year."
Consumers Energy encourages residents to practice these outdoor safety tips:
Beware of overhead electric lines:
- Avoid flying a kite close to a power line – if a kite gets stuck on a power line, do not attempt to remove it, as electric shock can be fatal.
- Take care with ladders and long handheld tools. Even non-conductive ladders and tools can conduct electricity in some circumstances, so keep them at least 20 feet away from all power lines at all times. Carry ladders, paint rollers, rain gutters and other long objects level with the ground. Raise and lower them carefully to avoid power lines.
- Adjust ladders and tools cautiously. Before adjusting extension ladders, paint rollers or other long tools, add your own height and make sure the total height will remain the minimum required clearance away from overhead power lines. Ladders can shift due to wind and unexpected events, so keep a minimum required clearance -- plus a buffer zone.
- Parents should ensure children never climb a utility pole or tree located near a power line.
- Do not plant tall-growing trees such as oaks, maples and most pines under power lines. Also, do not trim branches or trees near power lines; call our forestry management professionals for a free trimming estimate at (800) 582-4238.
Know what's underground:
- Call MISS DIG at 8-1-1 at least three days before beginning any digging project around your home or at work, even for simply installing landscaping or rototilling a garden. The utilities will be contacted and will send representatives to mark underground utilities. The service is free, and by calling 8-1-1 you can ensure your project is completed safely.
- After the utilities are marked, stay more than 4 feet from the marks, or use a wooden handle shovel to carefully expose the lines before starting excavation.
- If you are hiring a contractor, confirm 8-1-1 has been contacted before allowing any digging work to proceed.
Wear personal protective equipment (PPE):
- Consumers Energy employees always don personal protective equipment before beginning to work and encourage everybody to wear PPE appropriate for the job at hand when working around the home, such as eye and ear protection and proper footwear when mowing the lawn, weed whipping and trimming hedges.
Consumers Energy has a web page where residents, workers and first responders can quickly access safety information, www.ConsumersEnergy.com/safety.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 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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VIDEOS: View these safety videos from Consumers Energy:
- Overhead wire safety -- http://youtu.be/eF9iP-dWWWU?list=PL7F122AAB6E651B73
- Dig safely public service announcement -- http://youtu.be/zspyp4Kp3gM
SOURCE Consumers Energy