Media Contact: Media Relations, (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., June 7, 2013 — Wildfires burning in the Southern California region serve as a reminder to Southern California Edison (SCE) customers about the importance of conserving energy.
The Powerhouse fire, which has burned over 30,000 acres to date, is an early indication for Californians to prepare for a longer than normal fire season, say experts. The number of fires threatening the utility’s high-voltage transmission lines that start this time of year has been unusually high so far. In May, 15 fires occurred compared to an average of four in May 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Fires have the potential to affect utility infrastructures, as well as power fed to the grid, which provides electric service to millions of customers across SCE’s service territory. Extreme heat may result in unexpected service interruptions.
Safety remains SCE’s highest priority and the utility reminds customers that if you see a downed line or dangling wire — even if it appears not to be live — don’t touch or approach it or anything that is in contact with it and call 911 immediately.
SCE encourages customers to reduce their electricity use to help prevent electricity demand increases that can significantly overload the grid. As the summer approaches, customers are encouraged to be proactive and reduce their electricity use between noon-6 p.m. — the hours of peak energy use — to lessen strains on electricity supplies.
Customer safety tips to keep in mind:
- Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage and do not use candles.
- If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
- Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage.
- Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.
A video on SCE’s power restoration efforts is available at: www.SCE.com/outagecenter. Also, a video and fact sheet about power line safety is available at: www.SCE.com/staysafe. The information is also available in Spanish.
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 nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.