UNION, NJ – As customers crank up their thermostats to stay warm and comfortable, Elizabethtown Gas is providing the following safety guidelines associated with natural gas:

Appliance Safety

·         Customers should never use natural gas appliances, such as ovens or the burners on a stove, to heat their homes or businesses.

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·         Residents should make sure their heating system, water heater and any other natural gas appliances are serviced and inspected annually by a qualified licensed professional.

·         Elizabethtown Gas customers are advised not to use any defective natural gas appliance until it has been inspected, serviced, and determined to be safe by a qualified plumber or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

·         To ensure the safe, proper operation of natural gas appliances, such as a furnace and water heater, and to prevent a potentially hazardous buildup of carbon monoxide within your home or business, ensure that outdoor vent openings and air intakes are not obstructed by snow or ice.

·         If customers smell natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in their home or business, they should immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1 or 1-800-492-4009 from a safe location.

·         Residents are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately if anyone in their home or business experiences possible symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

Detecting Gas Leaks

·         If customers smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present, they should immediately leave the affected area and call the 24-hour emergency response line at 1-800-492-4009 from a safe location.

·         Residents should never try to identify the source of a leak themselves.

·         If the odor of natural gas is present, do not use a telephone or cellular phone, turn light switches on or off, operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as lighting a match.

Conservation and Weatherization

·         To keep heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system running at peak efficiency and performance, change air filters regularly and have equipment checked annually by a qualified contractor.

·         Open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home naturally, and close curtains at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. Keep furniture, drapes, stuffed animals and other objects from blocking your heating sources.

·         Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors and ceilings.  Install insulated gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on exterior walls to prevent drafts.

·         Regulate the heat by using a programmable thermostat.

For additional natural gas safety and weatherization tips, visit www.elizabethtowngas.com/safety