Protect your family and your home
We encourage you to stay connected with your county Offices of Emergency Services and follow the directions of your local First Responders. Once First Responders allow you to return home, take these steps to protect your family and your home.
Electric safety tips
- Check for damaged household electrical wiring and turn off the power at the main electric switch if you suspect any damage and consult with an electrician.
- Unplug or turn off all electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply 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 downed power lines near your home, treat them as if they are "live" or energized. Keep yourself and others away from them. Call 911, then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- Use only battery-operated flashlights to provide light during outages.
- Standard wax candles are not recommended. LED candles are a safe alternative.
- Customers with generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to our crews, and to you and your family.
- If you are asked to evacuate, shut off your gas and electricity to prevent any further damage.
Gas safety tips
- If you or someone else shut off the gas during the evacuation, DO NOT turn it back on. Contact PG&E or another qualified professional to perform a safety inspection before the gas service is restored and the gas appliance pilots are re-lit.
- If you smell the distinctive "rotten egg" odor of natural gas in or around your home or business you should immediately call 911 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- In order to restore gas service, gas crews must conduct a thorough assessment of damaged infrastructure and on-site inspections at each customer home and business. This process must occur before service can be restored and relights conducted. PG&E will be bringing in additional crews to restore gas service.
- It is helpful if customers are available to allow PG&E crews access to their properties in order to inspect equipment and restore service.
- If contact is not made during our initial door to door effort to relight pilot lights, we will leave a contact card so that customers may call us. Customers returning to their homes that wish to have service restored should call 1-800-743-5000.
- PG&E employees always carry their identification and are always willing to show it to you. Customers should always ask to see valid identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-743-5000 to verify PG&E's presence in the community.
Heating homes without gas service
- Place space heaters on level, hard, nonflammable surfaces. Do not place on rugs or carpets.
- Don't put objects on space heaters or use them to dry clothes or shoes.
- Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Keep all flammable materials at least three feet away from heating sources and supervise children when a space heater or fireplace is being used.
- Never use cooking devices such as ovens or stoves for home heating purposes.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors to warn you if concentration levels are high. As of 2011, all California single-family homes are required to have carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are installed near sleeping areas and replace the batteries at least twice a year.
- When using the fireplace to stay warm, make sure the flue is open so that the byproducts of combustion can vent safely through the chimney.
- Never use products inside the home that generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Such products include generators, barbecues, propane heaters and charcoal.
For more information, download the Returning home and rebuilding after a wildfire (PDF, 1.2 MB)