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Gas Safety Issues

Snow & Ice, Gas Meters & Pipes

During the winter, snow or ice can build up on or near gas meters. Accumulation of snow and ice can affect proper operation or ventilation of the regulator, and icy build up could damage your meter’s fittings and pipes. To avoid these safety hazards, follow these tips:

  • Keep the meter area and path to the meter clear of snow, ice and debris
  • Use a broom to keep the snow cleared around and on top of the meter and piping.
  • If there’s ice accumulated on the meter, call us to get it removed
  • Don’t deposit snow piles on or near the meter assembly
  • Don’t use a snow blower or shovel near the meter.
  • Don’t enclose your gas meter. Carefully remove snow, ice, leaves or other debris away from your gas meter, regulator, vents and exhaust ducts.

Interior piping and gas appliance connector safety

Gas connectors need to be inspected regularly, and replaced as needed. Certain kinds of flexible connectors manufactured between 1970 and 1980 may fail over time and need to be replaced.

  • Only a qualified professional should check your connector and replace it if needed. Don’t try to do this yourself, because a brittle connector could fail with minimal movement.
  • After disconnecting gas appliances, gas connectors should always be removed and the fuel line should be plugged and capped. It’s a good idea to replace approved flexible connectors once every ten years.
  • Gas pipes should be properly maintained and never used for unintended uses such as hanging clothes.

Maintaining Buried Pipelines

All gas pipes downstream of the gas meter belong to the property owner.  They’re responsible for the maintenance and operation of this portion of the fuel line system. If you have buried natural gas piping, be advised of the following:

  • Buried piping that isn’t maintained may be subject to the potential hazards of corrosion and leakage.
  • Buried piping should be:
    • Periodically inspected for leaks;
    • Periodically inspected for corrosion if the piping is metallic;
    • Repaired or removed from service if any unsafe condition is discovered.
    • Before excavating/digging near buried piping, the piping should be located and excavating done carefully by hand. Underground locating contractors may assist with locating buried piping. A plumbing or heating contractor may be able to provide assistance with inspection and repair of buried piping.

Flammables

  • Gasoline and other flammable liquids should never be used indoors, and should be stored in an approved container, away from children.
  • Keep gasoline and other flammable liquids away from children.
  • Gasoline is a mother fuel. Never use it as a cleaner.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids indoors or in the same room or area as a gas appliance or other ignition source.
  • Keep gasoline only in an approved gasoline container. Make sure the container is tightly sealed. Never store gasoline in plastic milk jugs or glass containers.
  • Never fill gasoline containers to the top. Allow room for vapor expansion.
  • Always store gasoline in a safe container on a high shelf, in a cool place, away from the house.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of flammable liquid products.

Sewer Blockage? Beware of Cross-Bores

A blocked sewer line may be the result of a utility line having been accidentally “cross-bored” through a sewer line.  If the blockage involves a natural gas line and the gas line is damaged, natural gas can leak into the sewer service line, sewer mains, and nearby buildings, which can result in a serious accident involving loss of life, injury and significant property damage.

If you’re unable to visually verify that a cross-bore blockage doesn’t exist, follow these precautionary measures before you attempt to clear a sewer blockage beyond the outside of a building wall:

  • Call 811 to get utility lines marked. If the utility lines cross the known path of a sewer line, you may have a cross-bore blockage.
  • If you suspect or discover that the blockage is caused by a cross-bore:
  • Don’t attempt to clear the blockage with mechanical equipment
  • Get help. Call us at 1-877-434-4100. If the blockage is the result of a cross-bored gas line, our technician will provide assistance to help correct the problem.

Hot Water Safety

Setting a water heater too high can be dangerous for children and unsuspecting visitors.

  • Make sure your water heater is set to a safe temperature, 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  • Check the water temperature before placing a child in the bathtub; never leave a child alone or with other young children in the bathtub.