CenterPoint Energy’s public safety program and public safety awareness campaign provide our customers and other stakeholders with information about potential hazards and how to avoid and respond to them.
Regular safety communication with customers and the public include education about staying away from power lines, how trees and vegetation affect electric safety, calling 811 before any work requiring digging, severe weather preparedness and natural gas safety. We use multiple channels, including social media, stakeholder outreach, training, websites and community programs.
in Funds Awarded
Community Safety Grants
CenterPoint Energy’s Community Safety Grant program provides an opportunity to support organizations within our communities with a shared commitment to safety. Matching grants up to $2,500 are available for eligible safety and emergency response equipment. Grants are awarded to local fire departments, police departments, ambulance services and other first responders, as well as to support community safety initiatives. This support maintains our connections with emergency officials and helps them keep our neighbors and communities safe.
For 15 years, CenterPoint Energy and the Houston Fire Department have both supported the Get Alarmed Houston program, which provides and installs smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to needy seniors and families in the greater Houston area. Get Alarmed Houston’s goal is to reduce – and possibly eliminate – fire-related accidents and deaths due to a lack of working smoke detectors. All smoke alarms are provided through donations or grants. Throughout the year, firemen from various Houston fire stations allocate time to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that are requested by disadvantaged senior citizens and families through the Houston Fire Department Public Affairs Division.
EMERGENCY RESPONDER SAFETY AWARENESS SESSIONS
In 2022, CenterPoint Energy conducted training for 212 firefighters in 15 total sessions conducted over a three-day period in Evansville, Indiana. The sessions included understanding the hazards of downed electrical conductors, solar panels and electrical distribution automation systems. The sessions were designed to aid the first responders in their decision making when they respond to incidents where electric utilities might be involved.
EXTREME WEATHER PREPAREDNESS
Since 2005, CenterPoint Energy has been a proud sponsor of the Houston Extreme Weather Ready Expo, which helps residents prepare for hurricane season and weather emergencies. The 2022 expo was held in June.
Natural Gas Safety
Each year during National Fire Prevention Week, CenterPoint Energy participates in community safety fairs and fire department open house events throughout our Minnesota service territory. Employees staff booths and share important natural gas safety messages, activity booklets and promotional materials highlighting our Safe and Smart education program for students.
CenterPoint Energy employees recently participated in annual pipeline safety training meetings across our service territory. The meetings were hosted by an outside organization that provides public awareness and damage prevention services to assist with the regulatory requirements in the natural gas industry. These meetings are a compliance-based effort to connect with emergency responders who serve our communities and educate professional excavators who are working near buried utilities.
811 and Safe Digging
Because third-party damage is a significant cause of pipeline incidents for CenterPoint Energy, we partner with the Common Ground Alliance to raise awareness of 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” number. Each year on August 11, CenterPoint Energy conducts an outreach campaign promoting 811 as the resource for marking utility lines before digging.
For 12 years, CenterPoint Energy employees have participated in the annual Children’s Farm Festival at Peden Farms in Bloomington, Indiana, by educating families about the importance of calling 811 before any digging project.
Our investments in smart residential natural gas meters are another example of providing our customers with an added layer of safety protection. CenterPoint Energy plans to install 4 million Intelis natural gas ultrasonic smart meters by 2032 for its natural gas distribution system. These innovative meters contain an internal shutoff valve that automatically activates if excessive gas flow or high temperatures are detected. High temperatures could indicate a fire at the location and shutting off the gas would prevent further damage. The automatic shutoff feature also helps protect the environment by reducing methane and carbon dioxide emissions.