Due to the potential threat of a fire in Northern California, Pacific Gas & Energy (PG&E) is expected to turn off electricity for as many as 800,000 customers in the Bay Area and beyond. The plan is done in the name of safety and avoiding a fire like what occurred in Paradise, CA last year and claimed the lives of 85 people.
While there is little that residents of Northern California homes can do about having their power turned off for the next few days, there are some fire safety preparation tips going around just in case something were to happen.
Fire Prevention Tips
- 1. Install smoke alarms in every room of your home. This one should be a no brainer for homeowners, but it must be said again.
- 2. Install 2-3 carbon monoxide detectors. While a carbon monoxide detector won’t help in the event of a natural fire, it can warn you about leaking gas that could cause fire and other problems.
- 3. Change the batteries in both your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Most devices run off of AA batteries, so there’s really no excuse to not be as safe as possible.
- 4. Assemble a 72-hour kit large enough for you and your family. In the event of a fire or any emergency, you’ll need to be ready to exit immediately and you’ll some essentials to keep you going.
- 5. Clean out the dryer lint trap and vent once a month. This one is easy to overlook, but it’s a common cause of house fires.
- 6. Avoid plugging too many devices into a single electrical outlet. Likewise, do not over extend surge protectors beyond their capacity limit. The number one cause of electrical fires in homes is of course, overloaded electricity.
- 7. If a fire does happen, think quickly and get out. As long as you cover step #4, you’ll be prepared to grab your loved ones and get out. Please, do not spend any time trying to gather personal items or material possessions. A fire can happen quickly and be deadlier than you may think.
When Will PG&E Turn the Power Back On?
As of the time of this posting (Wednesday, October 9th, 8:30 PM PST), PG&E has restored power to some customers in Northern California while those in the East Bay and South Bay remain in the dark. Remember that the power shutoff is being done in the name of safety and will not last longer than it has to.
If you are a PG&E customer who has experienced a power outage due to fire safety, 1) we hope you are safe and 2) please leave a note in the comments about your experience. We may featured your feedback in a later blog post.