PG&E Offers Tips for a Safe Summer and Independence Day Celebration

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the summer heat intensifies and Independence Day approaches, Pacific
Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) encourages customers to consider the
surrounding environment while celebrating safely and responsibly.

For campers swimming in the river or boating on the lake during the day
and enjoying s’mores around the campfire in the evening, it is even more
important to be aware of the increased water and fire hazards this

With more snow melt this year than in recent years thanks to the El Nino
winter storms, water enthusiasts need to be aware of colder and higher
river and stream flows and take precautions when in or near water.

While the rains were plenty during the winter, they weren’t enough to
lift California out of its historic drought. According to the United
States Drought Monitor (Feb. 2016), more than half of California remains
in extreme or exceptional drought conditions. The ongoing drought
coupled with bark beetle infestation, has created the state’s worst
epidemic of tree mortality in modern history, fueling an increased
wildfire risk.

In an effort to ensure customers stay safe during Independence Day and
throughout the summer, PG&E has created a downloadable and
mobile-friendly Summer
Safety Guide
with tips and recommendations for safely navigating the
fun recreational activities throughout Northern and Central California,
along with other resources for staying safe and cool as temperatures

From the Pit River country in the Cascade Range to the King’s River
region in the southern Sierra Nevada, PG&E owns more than 160
recreational facilities including 61 campgrounds, day use areas, hiking
trails, and fishing and boating accesses.

Found within the guide are the following tips, to help customers be
aware of summertime hazards that come with hot, dry weather and certain
outdoor activities.

  • Prevent wildfires by following these tips when celebrating with

    • Enjoy fireworks away from overhead power lines. Accidental damage
      to electric lines can cause power outages, fires and serious
    • Never use fireworks near dry grass or flammable materials
    • Keep a bucket of water or a water hose nearby
    • Observe local laws. Contact your local police or fire department
      to make sure fireworks are allowed in your area
    • An adult should always be present when fireworks are in use
    • Visit Wildfire
      for a complete list of guidelines
  • Take appropriate safety precautions when recreating in and near water:

    • 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
    • Visit Water
      Safety Tips
      for a complete list of guidelines
  • “Look Up and Live!” with these tips for overhead power lines:

    • When making preparations for an Independence Day party at the
      house, look up before lifting ladders and other long-handled
      tools, like long aluminum poles used for cleaning a pool, to avoid
      accidental contact with electric lines
    • Celebrate with helium-filled metallic balloons by making sure they
      are tied to a weight heavy enough to prevent them from floating
      into power lines. Do not bundle metallic balloons together. In the
      first five months of 2016, metallic balloons striking electric
      lines have caused nearly 180 power outages in PG&E’s service area
      alone, a 14 percent increase over the same period for the previous
    • If a balloon is caught in a power line, contact PG&E immediately
      at 800-743-5000 to report the problem. Never attempt to retrieve
      anything that is on or near a power line
    • Never climb trees growing near or touching overhead power lines
    • Never go near a damaged power line that has fallen to the ground
      or is dangling in the air. Always assumed downed electric lines
      are energized and extremely dangerous. Stay away, keep others away
      and immediately call 911 and PG&E
    • Visit Electric
      for a complete list of guidelines

For more information on ways to have fun and stay safe this summer,

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
(NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco,
with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the
nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and
Central California. For more information, visit


Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Megan McFarland, 415-793-5930