"The terrain in California is as diverse as our customer base, making this part of the country susceptible to earthquakes, storms, wildfires and other natural disasters," said Ezra Garrett, PG&E vice president of community relations and chief sustainability officer. "Public safety is PG&E's highest priority, and the Red Cross is a trusted partner in supporting our customers during times of emergency. We are proud to bring the Ready Neighborhoods initiative to cities across Northern and Central California, and working with the Red Cross is a great way to help customers learn about fire safety."PG&E employees are also strong supporters of the American Red Cross, personally pledging more than $75,000 to the humanitarian organization last year. During National Fire Prevention Month in October, PG&E and the American Red Cross remind Californians that first responders may not be able to respond quickly to everyone who needs help during times of crisis. That's why personal preparedness is so important. PG&E offers the following information to keep you and your home or business safe from fire:
- Be sure smoke alarms are installed throughout your building.
- If your smoke alarms run on batteries, or have battery back-up power, replace batteries at least once per year. If the low battery warning beeps, replace the battery immediately. All smoke alarms in your building should be tested once a month using the alarm test button.
- Keep fire extinguishers in your building. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in high-risk areas such as the kitchen and workshop, and know how to use it.
- Know what to do in case of a grease or electrical fire. Use baking soda, or if a pan is on fire, smother the flames with a lid. Never use water to put out a fire on a stove.
- If leaking gas starts to burn, do not try to put the flame out. Call 9-1-1 and PG&E immediately. If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas service shutoff valve normally located near the gas meter.