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PG&E Encourages Customers to Stay Safe During National Electrical Safety Month

05/05/2015

Electric safety education is key to preventing potential hazards

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- May is National Electrical Safety Month, and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is joining with the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to raise awareness about the importance of electrical safety. This year, PG&E and ESFI will focus on promoting safety in America’s communities, homes and businesses. Houses across the nation are aging and pose common hazards, but through a variety of updates, residents can improve any home’s functionality, efficiency and most importantly safety.

Each May, ESFI sponsors National Electrical Safety Month to educate the public in order to reduce the number of electrically related fires, fatalities, injuries and property loss—a cause PG&E strives for each day.

“At PG&E, we work hard to safely and reliably provide the electricity that powers our homes, our lives and our economy. We are partnering with our customers to promote electrical safety education to increase awareness about ways to proactively stop potential hazards and extend the reach of our safety programs to as many communities and families as possible,” said Geisha Williams, Executive Vice President, Electric Operations at PG&E.

PG&E is offering these 10 quick tips for maintaining electrical safety:

  • "Look Up and Live!" – Use caution when lifting tall objects near overhead power lines around the house. Keep your body, arms, long-handled tools, saws, ladders, pool tools, lumber and anything that reaches above your head at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Only qualified line safety workers should prune trees near power lines. Customers with concerns about trees growing too close to power lines should contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 for assistance.
  • Keep balloons, kites and toys like remote control aircraft away from overhead electric lines. Never attempt to retrieve any object that is caught in a power line. Leave it alone and contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report the problem immediately.
  • Always assume any downed electric line is energized and extremely dangerous. Never go near a damaged power line that dangles in the air or has fallen to the ground. Stay away, keep others away, and contact 911 and PG&E immediately.
  • When celebrating Mother's Day and graduation ceremonies with helium-filled metallic balloons, make sure they are secured to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away, or keep them indoors. To avoid the possibility of becoming entangled in power lines and causing power outages, never remove the weight and never release balloons outside.
  • To prevent the risk of electrical shock, avoid overloading electrical outlets, power strips and extension cords with too many devices and appliances.
  • Replace damaged electrical cords and equipment, or have them repaired by a qualified electrician or repair center to avoid the risk of electrical shock.
  • Talk to children about the dangers of tampering with electrical outlets. Childproof outlets with plastic protectors or covers in homes with young children, toddlers or infants.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection on all electrical outlets located near water sources such as bathrooms, kitchens, fountains and swimming pools to reduce the risk of electrocution.
  • Call 811 toll-free before you dig. If you are planting a tree or digging a hole for a fence post, or digging for any reason, call 811 at least two days ahead of time to avoid digging into electric or gas lines buried beneath the ground and disrupting 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.

For ESFI’s complete collection of National Electrical Safety Month resources, and for more information on spring safety, visit www.esfi.org. For many more electrical safety tips from PG&E, please visit www.pge.com/electricsafety.

About ESFI

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.esfi.org.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Joe Molica, 415-973-5930

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