SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — With winter right around the corner, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is reminding customers to schedule a free in-home safety inspection of their gas appliances. During the visit, PG&E also will relight pilot lights.
Inspections by PG&E gas service representatives help ensure that gas appliances, including water heaters, furnaces and ovens, are operating safely and efficiently. Properly installed and maintained natural gas appliances can significantly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the Center for Disease Control, every year in the United States at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and approximately 50,000 people will be sent to the hospital.
“Carbon monoxide can’t be seen, it can’t be smelled, and it can’t be heard. The best safeguard is to equip your home with carbon monoxide alarms on every level and in sleeping areas and have PG&E or a qualified expert examine all appliances to ensure they are able to safely receive natural gas service,” said Jesus Soto, PG&E senior 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.
Batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.
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.
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 call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.