SDG&E Reminds Customers To Exercise Caution With Gas & Electricity

SAN DIEGO, July 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- While providing reliable power for San Diego and Southern Orange County residents each and every day, San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) number one priority is the safety of the public. This unwavering focus on safety is crucial because the utility provides gas and electricity, powerful commodities that energize the community but also must be treated with caution and respect.

This emphasis on safety is especially important as the weather warms up this summer and customers are enjoying more time outdoors.  Since customers may be working near electrical or gas infrastructure during this time, SDG&E is emphasizing several practical steps customers can take to be safe.

"Safety is SDG&E's number one priority and we urge all customers to treat gas and electrical infrastructure with caution and care," said David L. Geier, vice president of electric transmission and system engineering for SDG&E. "By following practical safety guidelines such as always assuming power lines are 'live' and staying well clear of them at all times, customers can take action to ensure their safety and security this summer. Additionally, customers should call 8-1-1 before they dig to receive free visual markings of underground gas and power lines in the area."

SDG&E offers the following electrical and gas safety tips for customers:

Lookout for Overhead Power Lines when Working Outdoors:

  • Stay aware of your surroundings and stay clear of power lines, especially when using metal equipment and other tools. Equipment can act as a conductor if it touches a power line, which can be very hazardous.
  • Keep all machinery, equipment, materials, scaffolding, tools, boat masts, fruit-picking poles, paint brushes, window washing tools, antennas, satellite dishes, pool skimmer handles, metal ladders and people at least 10 feet away from power lines at all times.
  • Call SDG&E at 800-411-7343 if it appears power lines are in your way. The utility may be able to make the lines safe while you complete your work.
  • Never remove anything caught in power lines — not even an animal. Call SDG&E immediately at 800-411-7343.

Keep Kites and Mylar Balloons Away from Power Lines:

  • Never fly kites or release Mylar balloons near power lines. Metallic Mylar balloons conduct electricity and can cause short circuits if they touch power lines, thus causing power outages and even fires.
  • Tie Mylar balloons down to tables or chairs to prevent them from flying into the lines. If a Mylar balloon, kite or any object gets caught in an overhead power line, call 9-1-1 or SDG&E at 800-411-7343. Do not try to remove it yourself.

Stay Clear of Downed or Broken Power Lines:

  • Fallen power lines are extremely dangerous. Always assume a downed line is live. Never touch a fallen line or a person or vehicle in contact with the line. Report any downed lines to 9-1-1 and SDG&E immediately at 800-411-7343.
  • If a power line touches your vehicle while you are inside, remain calm and stay inside your vehicle until emergency services arrive.
  • Warn others not to touch the vehicle and direct them to call 9-1-1.
  • If you must leave the vehicle for safety reasons, jump clear without touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time so you don't act as a conductor for electricity.

Stay Safe around Underground Gas Pipelines and Electric Lines:

  • While underground electric lines and gas pipes are not visible, they still must be treated with caution. Digging, drilling or blasting can damage these underground lines and pipes and create a safety hazard.
  • Make sure you call 8-1-1 before you dig. By contacting this free underground service alert two days before construction starts, customers can receive visual markings for all the utility lines, cables and pipes in the area, thus avoiding possible injury or damage.

By following these basic guidelines, customers can keep themselves, their families and community safe in a variety of circumstances. SDG&E is committed to working together with customers to put safety first in the community and will continue to steadfastly emphasize safety as it delivers reliable gas and electricity and keeps the lights on every day for local residents. For other safety tips, please visit or call SDG&E at 800-411-7343.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 861,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Connect with SDG&E's Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.

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SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

For further information: Hanan Eisenman, San Diego Gas & Electric, 877-866-2066,, Twitter: @sdge