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UI Reminds Customers to Clear Ice, Snow from Natural Gas Equipment

Utility company officials warn that snow and ice accumulation may interfere with the operation of natural gas meters and regulators, or may slow access in case of an emergency.

The following is a press release from United Illuminating

UIL Holdings Corporation and its natural gas subsidiaries, The Southern Connecticut Gas Company, Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation and The Berkshire Gas Company, reminded customers to keep their gas meters, sidewall vents and similar equipment clear of snow and ice after Friday night’s blizzard.

Snow and ice accumulation may interfere with the operation of natural gas meters and regulators, or may slow access in case of an emergency.

In addition, snow blocking sidewall vents (found on the sides of many newer homes) may cause them to malfunction or prevent them from properly expelling exhaust fumes, which could cause an unpleasant odor inside the home or even lead to buildup of carbon monoxide.

Customers are also asked to be careful using metal shovels, plows or snow blowers around sidewall vents, natural gas meters and other equipment. Instead, customers are advised to clear these areas with a broom to avoid damaging them.

“After a heavy snowfall like this, it’s important to check the area where the gas meter and sidewall vent are located. If snow and ice have accumulated around them, use a broom to push the snow away until the equipment is exposed,” said Robert Allessio, UIL’s vice president for gas operations. “If you smell an unusual odor in your home, that may be the cause.”

Should a natural gas meter or sidewall vent become encased in ice, or begin to make an unusual noise, customers should contact their natural gas utility.

Additional Safety Tips:

  • Check your roof and gutters to make sure there is no snow or ice buildup that can fall on your gas meter or piping, or block vents.
  • Take note of overhead lines before cleaning gutters, removing snow from the roof or performing other outdoor work at home.
  • Assume overhead lines are energized, even if you’ve lost power, unless your utility or a licensed electrician informs you otherwise. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detector to make sure the batteries are in proper working order.
  • Never use your natural gas stove or oven as a space heater. If you lose heat, put on warm clothing.
  • If necessary, relocated somewhere with functioning heat, or dial 211 for a referral to a shelter or other emergency services.

Report Gas Odors, Electrical Outages and Other Problems:

  • Southern Connecticut Gas Company: 800-513-8898
  • Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation: 866-924-532
  • Berkshire Gas Company: 888-779-8559
  • The United Illuminating Company: 800-7-CALL-UI (1-800-722-5584)
Emmanuel Chang February 12, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Why can't we use the gas stove as a space heater when the power goes out but still use it to cook in normal conditions?

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