Using Electricity Safely

Keeping energy safe is always a top priority. Energy companies and consumers working together can prevent accidents before they happen and respond safely when they do.

Power Lines

  • Never touch a downed wire—even if it looks harmless. Contact your local energy provider to report fallen power lines.
  • Keep at least 20 feet away from pole-to-pole power lines at all times.
  • Don’t use a metal ladder around power lines as metal is highly conductive.
  • Avoid flying kites or model airplanes anywhere near or around overhead lines.

Natural Gas Pipelines

  • Know how to recognize a natural gas leak. A strong rotten egg smell, unusual hissing or roaring sounds coming from the ground, persistent bubbling in standing water, and other sights and sounds may indicate a leak.
  • Don’t try to stop a gas leak yourself! If you suspect a gas leak, leave the area immediately, avoid using anything that could ignite the gas—that includes your cell phone—and call 911 once you are clear of the area.

The Yard

  • Use grounded (three-prong) extension cords for outdoor tools and holiday lighting
  • Make sure electric devices used outside are approved for outdoor use—outdoor tools, appliances, and lighting have heavier wiring and special insulation as well.
  • Consult your local energy provider or a landscape professional if planting or trimming trees near power lines.
  • Dig carefully and safely. Be sure to call 811 at least three full days before you perform any digging work, even if it is something as simple as planting a tree in your yard.

At Home or the Workplace

  • Make sure extension cords are the right capacity for the appliance or device they are connecting to your outlets.
  • Have a qualified professional repair electrical cords or equipment—don’t try to fix them yourself.
  • Don’t use electricity in or around water—that’s a potentially deadly combination.
  • Don’t run electrical cords through door or window openings where they can be damaged, become frayed, or trip people walking around them.
  • Keep your home or workplace well maintained and energy efficient by replacing air filters, weather-proofing windows and doors, and installing programmable thermostats.
  • Check your furnace, water heater, and other gas appliances regularly to ensure they have not developed any small leaks and pilot lights are functioning correctly.

These online resources offer additional energy safety resources you may find helpful:




Progress on the Road to Net Zero


Investing in Grid Resilience for Michigan’s Clean Energy Future


Energy Resolutions—and Energy Assistance—for 2022