SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As Californians begin to celebrate spring, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) offers some simple tips to help customers keep outdoor electrical safety in mind:
- To look for: Use caution when lifting tall objects near overhead power lines around the house. Keep your body, long-handled tools, saws, ladders, pool tools, lumber, and anything protruding from your head at least 10 feet from overhead power lines.
- Keep away: Keep balloons, kites and toys like remote control planes away from overhead power lines. Never try to retrieve an object caught in a power line. Leave it alone and contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report the problem immediately.
- Grilling Safely: Always grill outdoors, away from overhead power lines, buildings, patios and low tree branches. Also, to keep the flames under control, never add charcoal lighter fluid if the coals have already been lit. Keep a fireproof pan under your grill to catch any falling ashes or grease. You can also trim excess fat from meat to prevent flare-ups and always be ready to close the lid and turn off the grill in an emergency.
- To call for help: April showers bring May flowers, but these spring storms can also bring down power lines. If you encounter a downed power line, always assume it is live and extremely dangerous. Never approach a damaged power line that is hanging in the air or has fallen to the ground. Be sure to stay a minimum 30 feet on a dry surface and 60 feet on a wet surface. Keep others away and contact 911 and PG&E immediately.
- Call 811 before digging: If you are planting a digging project, even as simple as planting a tree or installing a fence post, call 811 or visit 811.org for a US ticket three business days before digging to avoid digging into electrical or gas pipes under the ground. and disrupt service in your neighborhood. 811 is a free and easy service that notifies utilities to come to your home and mark the approximate location of their underground facilities in the excavation area.
- Safety plugs and cords: To avoid the risk of electric shock, avoid overloading electrical outlets, power strips and extension cords with too many appliances and devices. Replace damaged electrical cords and equipment or have them repaired by a qualified electrician or service center to avoid risk of electric shock.
- Child safety: Talk to children about the dangers of handling electrical outlets; childproof outlets with plastic protectors or covers in homes with young children, toddlers or infants.
- Go with GFCI: Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection on all electrical outlets near water sources such as bathrooms, kitchens, fountains, and swimming pools to reduce the risk of electric shock.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people over 70,000 square miles in northern and central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.