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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. November 20, 2020 – With winter and colder temperatures right around the corner and the COVID-19 pandemic enduring, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is reminding customers to call and schedule a free in-home safety inspection of their in-home gas appliances. During the visit, PG&E will also relight pilot lights for customers who have heaters or other appliances that have been turned off during warmer months.

Inspections help ensure that gas appliances—including water heaters, furnaces and ovens—are operating safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of carbon monoxide exposure within the home. Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous because it can’t be seen, smelled or heard. According to the Center for Disease Control, every year in the U.S. at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and approximately 50,000 people will be sent to the hospital. 

In-Home COVID-19 Health Protocols

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, PG&E frontline employees are adhering to strict safety protocols when visiting customers’ homes, including mandatory daily health checks, wearing masks and nitrile gloves and maintaining at least six feet of distance. Customers are asked to do the same when an employee visits, and if anyone inside the home is ill, that they isolate themselves away from the room where work is being performed.

“The safety of our customers is the most important responsibility we have as PG&E employees. To help ensure that customers’ gas appliances are operating safely, they can call us to schedule a free gas safety check, and we will send a qualified PG&E technician to your home to inspect your appliances. Our dedicated workforce is prepared to provide this vital service while adhering to strict COVID-19 health protocols to ensure the safety of customers and our employees,” said Sally Romero, PG&E senior director 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

  1. Install carbon monoxide detectors to warn when concentration levels are high.
    1. All California single-family homes are required to have carbon monoxide detectors.
    2. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor, near sleeping areas and common areas.
    3. These devices should be tested twice a year, and batteries replaced if necessary.
    4. Check the expiration date – most carbon monoxide detectors have a shelf life of five to seven years.
  1. Never use products inside the home that generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, such as generators, outdoor grills, or propane heaters.
  2. Never use cooking devices such as ovens or stoves for home heating purposes.
  3. When using the fireplace to stay warm, make sure the flue is open so venting can occur safely through the chimney.
  4. Make sure water heaters and other natural gas appliances have proper ventilation.

If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home, you should leave 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 evacuate and then call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.