The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission offers tips to residents on natural gas safety during Winter Storm Sandy.
Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission
Contact: Nils Hagen-Frederiksen
HARRISBURG – As residents across much of Pennsylvania brace for significant snowfall this weekend, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) offered some safety tips for those using natural gas appliances:
- Keep outside vents for your natural gas furnace or other gas appliances clear any accumulation of snow or ice. The vents provide air flow necessary for safe operation and blocked vents can lead to a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide.
- Carefully clear deep snow away from the area around your gas meter to allow utility access and to prevent potential disruptions of service, but keep snow blowers and plows away from the gas meter.
- Electric power outages can affect gas furnaces and other appliances. If they do not function properly when power is restored call a professional for service.
- If you smell natural gas, get everyone out of the building immediately. Leave the door open and do NOT use phones, switch lights or appliances on or off, or take any other action while inside the building. After you are outside, call 9-1-1 from your cell phone or neighbor’s home.
PUC tips related to electric service outages are available on the PUC website. Additionally, residents are encouraged to take some general steps before the storm to prepare for potential problems, including:
- Write down, print or save toll-free “outage reporting hotlines” to your cell phone. Those are the numbers you should call in the event of an outage. Natural gas utility contact information and electric utility hotlines are compiled on the PUC website.
- Save the Internet address for your utility’s outage reporting system, which can provide updates on repair and restoration efforts. Those natural gas company websites and electric utility outage sites are listed on the PUC website.
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