As Cold Front Approaches, PG&E Shares Safety Tips On Home Heating And Carbon Monoxide

 As Cold Front Approaches, PG&E Shares Safety Tips On Home Heating And Carbon
                                   Monoxide

PR Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 12, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --With the weather turning
chillier, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges customers to be aware
of the dangers of carbon monoxide. Hundreds of tragic cases of carbon monoxide
poisoning happen in the U.S. each year. PG&E's tips can help customers stay
warm—and safe.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas produced by the
burning of fossil fuels and wood. In general, properly installed and
maintained natural gas appliances produce very little to no carbon monoxide.
However, if unsafe concentrations of carbon monoxide are not detected, the
result can be fatal.

PG&E reminds customers to make sure all natural gas furnaces and appliances
are in working order. Customers should inspect the flame on gas appliances. A
blue flame indicates complete combustion and that the appliance is working
properly. A lazy, yellow or white flame is a warning sign that the appliance
is not burning properly and could be producing carbon monoxide.

If customers suspect a problem with a natural gas appliance in their home,
they should call PG&E immediately at 1-800-743-5000. A gas service
representative will be dispatched to do a thorough inspection.

To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, PG&E offers the following safety
tips:

  oInstall a carbon monoxide detector, which will warn you when
    concentrations become dangerously high. California law requires owners of
    all single-family homes with an attached garage or a fossil fuel source to
    install carbon monoxide detectors within the home. Owners of multi-family
    dwellings must comply by Jan. 1, 2013.
  oPlace detectors near sleeping areas, where they can wake you if you are
    asleep.
  oNever use products inside the home that generate dangerous levels of
    carbon monoxide, such as generators, barbecues, propane heaters and
    charcoal.
  oWhen using the fireplace to stay warm, make sure the flue is open so that
    the byproducts of combustion can vent safely through the chimney.
  oEnsure that generators are properly installed and operated outdoors. For
    more generator safety tips, visit www.pge.com/generator.
  oDo not idle cars inside the garage, and do not allow snow to block
    tailpipe emissions when operating a vehicle outdoors.
  oMake sure water heaters and other natural gas appliances have proper
    ventilation. Older appliances and room heaters that are not vented
    externally should be inspected annually.
  oAs part of customers' gas service, PG&E representatives are available to
    inspect gas appliances and make sure they are working safely. To schedule
    an inspection, customers can visit the "My Energy" feature at www.pge.com
    or call 1-800-743-5000.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, drowsiness,
dizziness, nausea and convulsions. Because carbon monoxide is hard to detect,
someone with mild poisoning can go to sleep and continue to breathe the carbon
monoxide until severe illness or death occurs. People may also mistake their
symptoms for a viral infection like the flu.

For more winter heating safety information, go to www.pge.com/safetycentral.

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

Website: http://www.pge.com
Contact: PG&E External Communications, +1-415-973-5930
 
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