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This just in from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station

Posted: November 23, 2012 11:49 a.m.
Updated: November 23, 2012 11:49 a.m.

As preparations begin for the holiday season, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is reminding its customers of important safety tips to keep friends and loved ones safe during the holidays and year-round.

* Customers should be vigilant and question anyone who presents themselves as a representative of SoCalGas. The following tips can help you protect your home from utility-worker imposters:

All SoCalGas employees carry proper photo identification when called out to any job.

Verify the employee's uniform and identification before letting anyone in the home or on their property. Most field employees also drive a company vehicle.

Customer safety is a top priority for SoCalGas and employees will always be happy to wait while the customer confirms their identity.

Never leave the house unlocked and unattended. SoCalGas does not ask customers to leave their homes unattended.

Most of the time a SoCalGas employee visits a home or business in response to a service request. If no one scheduled an appointment, call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200 (or 1-800-342-4545 in Spanish) before allowing anyone inside the home or property.

* As temperatures drop, another threat to safety is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

CO poisoning can occur as a result of a poorly ventilated heater or a CO leak from another source. Symptoms can include nausea, headaches, paralysis and even death. SoCalGas wants its customers to remember the following tips to help prevent CO poisoning:

Have natural gas furnaces checked at least once a year by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas.

Vacuum and clean regularly in and around the furnace, particularly around the burner compartment to prevent a build-up of dust and lint.

Never store items in, on or around the appliance that can obstruct airflow.

Most forced-air units have a filter that cleans the air before heating and circulating it throughout the home. Check furnace filters every month during the heating season and clean or replace the filter when necessary.

When installing a new or cleaned furnace filter, be sure to re-install the front panel door of the furnace properly so it fits snugly; never operate the furnace without the front-panel door properly in place because doing so may create the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Check the appearance of the flame. If the flame is yellow, large and unsteady, the furnace needs to be inspected immediately by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas to have the condition corrected.

Using an unvented gas heater in your home is dangerous and a violation of the California Health and Safety Code.

Never use your oven, range or outdoor barbecue to heat your home because these appliances are not designed for this purpose.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from CO poisoning, call 911 immediately.

Visit for more information on staying safe.


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