LOS ANGELES, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For utility workers, a dog's bite is always worse than its bark. Every day, utility employees across California need to enter yards and homes to provide gas and electric services to customers. This routine part of their job can be hazardous when dog owners leave pets loose. May 18-24 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, a public service campaign that emphasizes the need for increased pet owner responsibility in the prevention of dog bites. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) remind customers to keep dogs secure when a utility worker is scheduled to visit a home or business.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dogs bite about 4.5 million people in the U.S. each year, with one in five dog bites resulting in injuries that require medical attention. Although children are the most common victims, dogs moderately or severely injure dozens of utility employees in California each year. Here are some tips to help prevent dog bites and provide a safe environment for both your pets and utility employees:
- Securely confine or relocate your dog during scheduled customer service visits and when it's time for utility workers to read your meter.
- Contact your local utilities or check your monthly bills for the dates when utility workers are scheduled to conduct meter readings if your meter is still read manually. On those days, leave gates unlocked and keep your dogs or other pets securely confined in another section of the property.
- If the utility worker is outside, keep your dog securely confined inside. If the employee is inside, keep your dog securely confined outside. Dogs may become more protective in the presence of their owners. Make sure your dog is securely confined where it cannot come into contact with the utility worker.
- Dog owners or guardians should secure or restrain their dog when utility workers are actually in the presence of the resident.
- Post a "Beware of Dog" sign on your fence or house to avoid any surprises.
- Leave a note on your meter explaining that you have a dog and how and where it is confined.
- Be sure all pet vaccinations and inoculations for rabies and parasites are up to date.
- Train your dog to obey simple commands like "sit," "stay," "no" and "come." Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs in any situation.
- Collar your dog, so you have the means to quickly restrain your dog in any emergency.
- If you get a new dog, contact your local utilities to let them know.
About Pacific Gas & Electric
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 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE: EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California. For more information, visit www.sce.com/
About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9 million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout Central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).
About San Diego Gas & Electric
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 861,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Connect with SDG&E's Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.