PG&E tips for cold weather safety, heating, storms and energy saving:
Cold Weather Safety Tips Do not heat your home with a barbeque, charcoal, propane patio heater, or any other method intended for the outdoors as they will release carbon monoxide in your home. Generators are also unsafe to use indoors and are intended for outdoor use only. Check on elderly relatives and neighbors. The ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age, and older people are more susceptible to cold-related injury or illness like frostbite or hypothermia. If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide them an adequate place to sleep—off the floor and away from all drafts. Make sure that they have access to unfrozen water. Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia: confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Recognize frostbite warning signs: gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, waxy feeling skin. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms. Dress warmly and in layers—don't forget a hat and gloves. Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket or consume warm fluids like hot cider, hot cocoa or soup. Winter Storm Preparation Tips for Customers: Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages. Have battery-operated flashlights with fresh batteries on hand. Have a cell phone or hard-wire, single-line telephone on hand. Cordless phones will not work without electricity. Do not use candles because of the risk of fire. If you must use candles, use extreme caution. Do not use candles near drapes, under lampshades or near holiday trees. Keep candles away from small children and do not leave candles unattended. If you see a downed power line, assume it is “live” or carrying electric current. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines and other electric emergencies immediately by calling 911 and PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-PGE-5000. If your power goes out, turn off or even unplug all electric appliances. Otherwise, when power is restored, several appliances might come back on at once and overload your circuits or hot appliances might come on while you’re away or asleep and pose a fire hazard. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal. If you see a downed power line, assume it is “live” or carrying electric current. Do not touch or try to move it – and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines and other electric emergencies immediately by calling 911 and PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-PGE-5000. For more storm-related tips and information, visit www.pge.com. Gas-Saving Tips Keep your thermostat set at 68º F during the daytime and 55º F at night to stay comfortable and save gas. Close drapes, blinds and shades at night to help retain heat. Wash clothes in cold water and use detergent specially formulated for cold water use. About 90% of the energy use in a clothes washer goes to water heating. Lower your water heater temp to 120ºF (low) or 140º F (medium) if you have a dishwasher without its own heating element. Keep showers short. Microwave small amounts of food instead of heating them up in the oven—you can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80 percent.