A Proactive Approach to Fire Prevention
SDG&E is working with local fire agencies to develop and implement a Defensible Space and Structure Hardening Grants Program. This program is the result of the construction and operation of the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line which enabled funding of the program through the project permitting process. Annual funding is available, for county homeowners who meet the eligibility criteria, to provide defensible space vegetation clearance around residential structures and to retrofit homes with more fire resistant building materials. To learn more, visit the program website at http://www.sunrisepowerlinkgrants.com/
Being prepared for an emergency is an ongoing effort and is one that SDG&E takes very seriously. For us, preparation is a key component of delivering safe and reliable energy. That is why we have created a Community Fire Safety Program within SDG&E that also stretches to the community as a whole.
This effort not only examines our system so that we can provide the safest means of delivering power to all our customers, but it also involves working with representatives from 40 different groups, including water districts, schools, the County of San Diego, fire agencies, telecommunications companies, disability rights groups and residents, to ensure that proper communication measures are in place in the event that an emergency situation arises.
With all of our help we will work to prevent fires from happening and respond faster when they do occur.
Through the program, we have taken steps to protect power lines from the risk of fire and be better prepared for fire-related emergencies:
- Strengthening overhead power lines. We have replaced many wood poles with fire hardened steel poles.
- Expanding inspections. We perform regular ground and aerial inspections of power lines and poles.
- Disabling automatic switches. During dry and windy weather conditions, in fire-sensitive areas, we disable automatic switching devices that would normally restore power after an outage.
- Trimming trees and brush. We perform regular ground inspections of vegetation that may cause damage to our power lines in high wind situations and trim them as needed.
- Staging work crews. We construct temporary work centers in areas prone to fire and stage crews for rapid response to issues noted. In addition, our Emergency Operations Center can be activated on short notice for larger coordinated response to real time issues.