This Fourth of July brings the first major holiday since California officials lifted guidelines related to COVID-19, and that means many more residents will celebrate the country’s independence with friends, family, and neighbors.
While Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) welcomes the return to holiday gatherings, the company urges its customers to put safety first and stay alert to potential dangers. Celebrations that involve fireworks, barbeques and swimming can increase the risk of fires, electric hazards, heat-related illnesses, and other perils. PG&E strongly recommends that citizens follow the local rules and regulations regarding fireworks.
The safety of our customers and communities is our most important responsibility, and that’s why PG&E is offering important reminders 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. Be aware of surroundings — stay clear of power lines, structures, dry grass, or flammable materials when using legally purchased 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 9-1-1 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.
- Make sure everyone has proper skills to swim. 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. 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; or rapid, shallow breathing. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place. Use cold towels to help lower their body temperature until help arrives.
PG&E reminds customers to update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts so that we can provide up-to-the-minute safety and service information.
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 across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.