May 18, 2009
ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 18, 2009 — This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and Southern California Edison (SCE) is reminding customers to be responsible pet owners and help prevent dog bites of its field based customer service employees such as meter readers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs nationwide every year. The most frequent victims of dog bites are small children and the elderly. Other frequent targets are postal employees and utility meter readers. So far this year, dogs have bitten nine SCE employees. In 2008, 37 employees were injured in dog attacks.
Nearly every weekday, SCE’s approximately 2,500 meter readers and field employees must deal with angry, frightened pets or unsecured animals. Dog attacks result in injuries to employees as well as lost productivity.
“These dog bites and attacks on meter readers are largely preventable. We appreciate customers taking the time to secure their animals so they do not pose a threat to employees. This will ensure workers can complete their jobs quickly and safely,” said Kevin Ellison, SCE’s director, Meter Services.
SCE encourages dog and pet owners to practice these simple safety tips:
- When a meter reader comes to your home, keep your dog or pets inside, away from the door.
- Pets need attention. Those that have been tied up for long periods or have little social interaction tend to be more aggressive and may turn into biters.
- Obedience training can be beneficial in teaching dogs proper behavior and helps owners control their animals in most situations.
- Do not allow your dog to roam neighborhoods unsupervised.
- Report any dogs running loose in your area to the local animal control department.
Customers can check their monthly bills for the dates when utility workers will conduct meter readings. On those days, gates should be left unlocked, and dogs or other pets should be confined in a safe section of the property. For making special access arrangements, customers can call SCE at (800) 655-4555. Visit www.sce.com/Safety/worker/meter-reader.htm for other helpful tips.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.