SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With cool temperatures and a strong El Niño forecasted this winter, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) wants customers to schedule an appointment to have their in-home gas appliances inspected before the cold weather hits and to be mindful of the dangers associated with carbon monoxide poisoning. As part of PG&E’s commitment to safety, customers can have a local gas service technician relight their pilot light and conduct an in-home appliance inspection at no cost to ensure their natural gas furnaces and appliances are in proper working condition.
“We want to remind all of our customers that nothing is more important to us than their safety, which is why we offer this annual service free of charge. A properly functioning gas appliance significantly reduces safety risks in the home such as carbon monoxide poisoning. A simple call to PG&E can help avoid a dangerous situation this winter,” said John Higgins, vice president of Gas Transmission and Distribution Operations.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 400 carbon monoxide related deaths in the United States each year. If unsafe concentrations of carbon monoxide are present but not detected, the result can be fatal.
For advanced warning, PG&E suggests customers check the flame on their gas appliances. A blue flame indicates complete combustion and that the appliance is in good working condition. A lazy, yellow or white flame is a warning sign that you should have a service technician check for any hazards.
If customers suspect there is a problem with a natural gas appliance inside their home, they should call PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000. A gas service representative will be dispatched to do a thorough inspection. If you detect carbon monoxide in your home, you should get out immediately and call 911.
Home Heating Safety Tips
PG&E urges customers to be cautious with home heating this winter and offers the following tips and information:
- Install carbon monoxide detectors to warn you if concentration levels are high. As of 2011, all California single-family homes are required to have carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are installed near sleeping areas and you replace the batteries at least twice a year.
- Never use products inside the home that generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, such as generators, barbecues, propane heaters and charcoal.
- When using the fireplace to stay warm, make sure the flue is open so that the byproducts of combustion can vent safely through the chimney.
- Make sure water heaters and other natural gas appliances have proper ventilation.
- In general, properly installed and maintained natural gas appliances produce very little to no carbon monoxide.
- As part of customers' gas service, PG&E representatives are available to inspect gas appliances and make sure they are working safely.
- To schedule an appliance safety inspection, customers can call 1-800-PGE-5000.
- For more winter heating safety information, go to www.pge.com/gassafety
If a customer ever smells the distinctive "rotten egg" odor of natural gas in or around their home or business they should immediately call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
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.