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National Grid: Keep vents, gas meters clear

Posted 2/6/15

As snow accumulations continue to mount across the region, and with more snowfall likely in the coming days and weeks, National Grid is urging local resident to take precautions, especially with …

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National Grid: Keep vents, gas meters clear

Posted

As snow accumulations continue to mount across the region, and with more snowfall likely in the coming days and weeks, National Grid is urging local resident to take precautions, especially with exterior gas meters or furnace vents.

At many homes and businesses, the deep snowpack and additional snow left by snow removal equipment is clogging vents to furnaces and other appliances. In addition, many roofs are still laden with ice and snow overhanging natural gas equipment. Both conditions can lead to trouble, officials warned.

CO safety

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a by-product of fossil fuel combustion.

Ice and snow blocking vents to natural gas appliances have the potential to cause carbon monoxide CO to back up into a building, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning to those inside.

National Grid advises natural gas customers to closely inspect areas around vents for snow and ice build-up and to remove anything that is blocking those vents. CO is odorless and can build up to dangerous levels without building occupants being aware that it’s present.

Customers are encouraged to install CO detectors in their homes and to test detectors that may already be installed to ensure that they are in working order.

Risks to gas equipment

The build-up of ice and snow around or over natural gas meters, regulators and pipes can pose a serious safety risk as well, according to National Grid safety personnel.

Ice and snow falling from a roof can damage gas meters or service connections to customers’ homes or businesses, resulting in potential gas leaks. Anyone detecting the odor of natural gas should call National Grid. If the odor is present inside your building, leave the premises immediately and call from outside or a neighboring building. 

Snow removal equipment operators should also be aware of the presence of natural gas equipment and avoid coming in contact with meters or piling snow around vents mounted on the outside of buildings.

If you do detect an odor of natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and breathe deeply. 

If CO poisoning symptoms, such as headaches or drowsiness are severe, call 911 immediately.  After calling 911, call National Grid’s emergency contact number at 1-800-892-2345, the company urges.

National Grid connects nearly 7 million customers to energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, according to the company, and is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast.

For more information about safety precautions for homes or residences or for other National Grid programs, including energty efficiency or bill assistance customers may visit the website: www.nationalgridus.com, or our Connecting website.

People can follow the company on Twitter or Friend them on Facebook.

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