What You Need to Know About the California Power Outages and How They Affect Your Safety

The recent fires in California have many people worried about their homes and personal safety. What you might not know is that many of these recent fires are due to high winds causing power lines to collide. Once the power lines collide sparks are created that ignite dry brush in the area. The high winds that are common around these fall and early winter months combined with the dry air can cause fires to spread extremely quickly. That’s why California power outages in 2019 are a common occurrence. California power companies are taking preventative measures to stop fires by putting public safety power outages into effect. 

Why Your Power Company Shutting off the Power in California Might Save Your Life

To understand the importance of these public safety power shutoffs it is important to look at the history behind them. There has been one company that since 2014 has had its power lines lead to many devastating fires in the Northern California region. The company is Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Some of the notable wildfires caused by PG&E lines were the Wine Country Wildfires in 2017, which lead to the death of 50 people. Because of these fires the company received massive backlash from the public causing stocks to plummet. Also, because of the legal doctrine known as inverse condemnation utilities companies were held responsible for damages caused by fires caused by their power lines. In order to prevent fires like these from happening again and to prevent further loss companies began implementing large-scale power outages in high-risk areas during this summer.

But in 2018 PG&E missed a power shutoff and PG&E lines caused the Camp Fire one of the most deadly and destructive fires in history. The fire caused 85 deaths and destroyed thousands of structures. The lawsuits that resulted from PG&E’s liability have now bankrupted the company. The Governor has now warned PG&E that if this continues the state of California will take control of the company’s utility lines. 

Why Almost all of California is Now Affected by California Power Outages

To avoid becoming the next PG&E California power companies are now following suit and shutting off their power lines when conditions for fires become high risk. Southern California Edison(SCE) as well as San Diego Gas & Electric(SDG&E) are some of the notable powerhouses that have followed suit.  While, power shutoffs in the past have only affected rural areas now many suburban and exurban areas are now being affected. Some notable places include:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
  • Santa Barbara
  • Orange County
  • San Francisco

Problems and Backlash Against Companies for Recent California Planned Power Shutoffs

Because so many people have become affected by California power outages in their area, naturally many problems have arisen. A common complaint brought against power companies is that people receive little to no notification before a power. These power shutoffs can also last for days. As an example of how unexpected these outages can be in California and the consequences, they have a California man who was dependent on an oxygen tank died due to not being able to switch to his battery pack fast enough. Consumers are also outraged because the shutoffs are costly for them. Businesses have to shut down and people will lose food when the power is shut off.

Many residents are calling for companies to migrate their power lines underground.  This would solve these outage problems, and make many California residents safer in the process. 

You can find out about outages in your area now by following the links below:

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