During National Electrical Safety Month In May PG&E Reminds Customers To Be Aware Of Electric Hazards In And Around The Home

For Graduation and Mother's Day Celebrations This Month, Keep Helium Filled Metallic Balloons Secured to a Weight and Away From Overhead Power Lines

May 10, 2013, 15:20 ET from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

SAN FRANCISCO, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- May is National Electrical Safety Month and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) offers important safety tips to help raise awareness of dangerous electrical hazards. Thousands of children and adults suffer critical and sometimes fatal injuries each year from accidental contact with electricity. 

This month, many customers will celebrate graduations and Mother's Day with helium-filled metallic balloons. PG&E urges customers to keep metallic balloons secured to a weight and away from overhead power lines. Metallic balloons that float into power lines can disrupt electric service to the community and create significant public safety hazards by bringing power lines down to the ground. Last year, metallic balloons that contacted PG&E electric lines caused nearly 300 power outages, affecting electric service to more than 130,000 PG&E customers throughout Northern and Central California.

During National Electrical Safety Month, PG&E reminds customers to follow these important electric safety tips:

  • "Look Up and Live!" – Use caution and keep balloons, kites and toys (such as high powered water guns or remote control aircraft) away from overhead electric lines.
  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite or toy that is caught in a power line. Leave it alone and contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report the problem immediately.
  • Never go near a damaged power line that dangles in the air or has fallen to the ground. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Stay away, keep others away and contact 911 and PG&E immediately.
  • Secure helium filled metallic balloons to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Never remove the weight!
  • Celebrate with metallic balloons indoors, do not bundle them together and never release them outside.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with several devices and appliances.
  • Replace damaged electric cords and appliances.
  • Talk to children about the dangers of tampering with electrical outlets; childproof outlets with plastic protectors or covers in homes with young children, toddlers or infants.

For more electrical safety information, visit http://www.pge.com/safety/electricsafety/.

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 http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)