SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— With summer in full swing and the Fourth of July holiday just days away, many families are preparing to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, barbecues and outdoor activities. Whether you’re having a pool party, firing up the grill, staying indoors or visiting a park, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges its customers to celebrate safely and responsibly.
Electric hazards, heat-related illnesses and water and fire risks can occur if proper precautions aren’t taken. PG&E offers the following tips to help customers stay safe this Independence Day and throughout the summer:
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals.
- First and foremost, know what the local regulations allow. Make yourself aware of your surroundings—stay clear of power lines, structures, dry grass or flammable materials when shooting your own fireworks in areas approved by local regulations.
- If a firework strikes electric equipment or causes a power line to come down, stay away, keep others away and immediately call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Never attempt to retrieve anything that is tangled in or near a power line.
- Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check to see if any warning signs or flags are posted at beaches or parks you’re visiting.
- Make sure everyone has proper skills to swim and keep an eye on young children and check flotation devices for leaks.
- Every child under 13 must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a moving vessel that is 26 feet or less in length.
- Don’t dive or jump into unfamiliar water. Shallow water or submerged trees or rocks could cause serious injury.
- Don’t swim or play near a dam or powerhouse; these areas can have strong underwater currents, sudden water discharges, slippery surfaces and submerged hazards.
- Never use generators, propane heaters, barbeques or charcoal indoors due to carbon monoxide risks.
- Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen often.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol or caffeine when temperatures are high.
- During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If it’s suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place and use cold towels to help lower their body temperature until help arrives.
- Use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire.
- Customers with generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area.
- Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling.
Customers can get updates on outages in their neighborhood through a variety of channels.
PG&E reminds customers to update their contact information at www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts. For more tips on how to safely navigate the fun summer recreational activities, visit PG&E’s Summer Safety Guide. The guide is also available in Spanish and Chinese.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies 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.