With colder weather months approaching, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is reminding customers to call to schedule a free in-home safety inspection of their gas appliances. During the visit, PG&E will also relight pilot lights for customers who have heaters or other appliances that have been turned off during warmer months.
Inspections help ensure that gas appliances, including water heaters, furnaces and ovens, are operating safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning within the home. Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous due to the fact that it can’t be seen, smelled or heard. According to the Center for Disease Control, every year in the U.S. at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and approximately 50,000 people will be sent to the hospital.
“Keep your family safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide by calling PG&E to schedule a free gas appliance safety check, and we will send a qualified PG&E technician to your home to inspect your appliances and to relight pilot lights,” said Joe Forline, PG&E vice president of Gas Operations.
Before the colder winter months when natural gas appliances typically see the most use, PG&E encourages customers to schedule an inspection by calling the customer helpline at 1-800-743-5000.
Helpful Winter Gas Safety Tips
Install carbon monoxide detectors to warn when concentration levels are high.
- All California single-family homes are required to have carbon monoxide detectors.
- Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor, near sleeping areas and common areas.
- These devices should be tested twice a year, and batteries replaced if necessary.
- Check the expiration date – most carbon monoxide detectors have a shelf life of five to seven years.
- Never use products inside the home that generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, such as generators, outdoor grills, or propane heaters.
- Never use cooking devices such as ovens or stoves for home heating purposes.
- When using the fireplace to stay warm, make sure the flue is open so venting can occur safely through the chimney.
- Make sure water heaters and other natural gas appliances have proper ventilation.
- Click here for more winter heating safety and savings tips.
If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home, you should get out immediately and call 911. If a PG&E customer ever smells the distinctive "rotten egg" odor of natural gas in or around their home or business they should immediately evacuate and then call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
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 www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.