On May 15th, 2019, Cal Fire released a statement of their investigation of the Camp Fire, concluding that the fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned by PG&E. The fire was fueled by dry vegetation and strong winds leading to the most devastating and deadliest fire in the history of California, killing 85 people and burning over 150,000 acres across 5 towns in Butte County.
In an attempt to prevent disasters, PG&E created “Public Safety Power Shutoff”, a procedure to shut down power lines if conditions get too windy and dry. Over 5 million people could be affected by this and customers don’t even have to be in a fire area to have their power cut off.
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT ME?
PG&E’s approach could leave customers in the dark. The bigger question; for how long? It could take a few hours to several days for extreme weather to pass. In any case, PG&E crews will assess their systems for any damage after weather has died down, a process that would take between 24 to 48 hours as they visually check their systems just to bring power back on. Because of this, PG&E encourages customers to be ready for blackouts that could go longer than two days.
In October of 2018, PG&E ran a test of this program, knocking out power to small communities where wildfire danger became a real concern. In the small town of Calistoga, a wine-tourism community in Napa Valley, hotels were forced to issue refunds to guests, grocery store owners had to throw out thousands of dollars in inventory, and businesses were forced to close their doors due to the lack of power. As residents went without power for three days, the economic impact was well into the hundreds of thousands and could have even been into the millions of dollars.
WHAT CAN I DO?
When there’s a possibility that power may go out for days at a time due to PG&E’s shutoff procedure, it’s extremely important to make sure your home has the power you need to keep your most important devices on and working, including medical devices, refrigerators, important data computers, and during California’s hot summers, air conditioning. During blackouts, homes and businesses are susceptible to theft as security systems lose power. Both residents and business owners can take steps to secure their property and gain peace of mind. One way is by installing a standby generator.
Modern standby backup generators are small, space-saving units which are directly connected to your home’s natural gas utility. When the power goes out, your generator switches on and starts providing power to your home. Larger units can provide more power, but as long as they have a steady flow of fuel, you’ll enjoy backup power as long as you need them.
Unlike older portable generators, these systems are always on, always standing by, and ready to flip on at a moment’s notice. No more struggling with an engine that won’t start, loud engine noises outside your home, or worrying about setting up your generator to power your home properly. These systems are dependable, and don’t need any additional attention beyond a simple annual maintenance service.
Quality Home Services has been providing both residential and commercial Generac generators to customers for 6 years. Schedule a free assessment and have all of your questions answered by a Fresno generator installation expert from Quality Home Services.