May is National Electrical Safety Month

We Energies reminds customers of all ages that they should keep a safe distance from overhead and underground power lines.

Milwaukee, April 29, 2010—We Energies reminds customers of all ages that safety should be part of their spring planting activity and that they should keep a safe distance from overhead and underground power lines. Coming in contact with an underground electric line can be life threatening. Utilities bury lines at the proper depth during installation, but changing soil conditions can move the facilities, so whether you want to plant a tree or dig a trench, simply dial 811 three working days prior to any digging projects. This hotline is a free service that will mark the location of any buried lines in your yard.

Awareness of overhead power lines also is important. "We strongly encourage anyone planning to plant a tree to keep safety, reliability and energy efficiency in mind," said Jeff Treu, We Energies regional forester. "Plant trees well away from power lines. Trees and power lines just don't mix."

Last month, We Energies participated in cooperative programs at elementary schools in the West Allis, Waukesha, Oak Creek, Freedom, Weyauwega, Fremont and Kimberly school districts to emphasize the importance of working and playing safely around power lines. We Energies also explained how trees contribute to the vitality of communities and taught students about planting the right tree in the right place.

"By being involved in community activities, we have been able to get our message across to more people and influence the types of trees selected for planting near utility lines," said Saul Lopez, manager of Forestry, Locating and Right of Way for We Energies. "Our customers have benefited by learning how to plant trees that can reach their potential beauty and functionality without interfering with power lines. We all benefit by having safe and reliable electric service," he added.

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