Skip to content

Catalyst. Convener. Champion.

What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event?

  • Share:
September 13, 2019
Southern California Edison (SCE) has made it a priority to invest in improvements to help prevent wildfires and act quickly when they occur to keep customers, employees, and the public safe.

The utility is reinforcing the electrical grid with new technologies that help reduce wildfire risks. These include installing insulated wires that lower the chance of faults or short circuits that can create sparks when they come into contact with birds, squirrels and other animals, vegetation or debris. SCE also is installing composite poles that are stronger and more resilient than wood poles. Fast-acting fuses, advanced lightning arrestors and other devices that can react more quickly to minimize fire risks also are being installed.

One of the ways Southern California Edison (SCE) is reducing wildfire risks is Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) in High Fire Threat District areas (https://ia.cpuc.ca.gov/firemap/) as designated by the California Public Utilities Commission. During these events, SCE may need to proactively shut off power temporarily as a result of elevated weather conditions that can cause a power line to fall and spark, possibly creating a wildfire. PSPS events are temporary and are meant to keep the community safe.

SCE considers a number of factors and conditions before declaring a PSPS. These include, but are not limited to:
  • High winds (including Red Flag Warnings declared by the National Weather Service)
  • Low humidity
  • Dry vegetation that could serve as fuel
  • On-the-ground observations
  • Fire threat to electric infrastructure
  • Public safety risk
In advance of PSPS events, SCE will notify local governments, the emergency management community, and first responders. They will also intend to notify affected customers approximately two days in advance of a potential power shutoff. This notification will be via email, text or phone call. They may also send another notice to customers about one day before a potential power shutoff. Customers can also be kept updated regularly on www.sce.com and SCEs social media channels. SCE will also notify affected customers when power has been restored. SCE customers can sign up for PSPS alerts at: sce.com/OutageAlerts.

Scroll To Top