UNION, N.J. –Elizabethtown Gas is closely monitoring forecasts of what is expected to be the most significant snowstorm of the winter season. The company is providing the following guidelines associated with natural gas meter and appliance venting safety:
· Customers should never use natural gas appliances, such as ovens or the burners on a stove, to heat their homes or businesses.
· Customers 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 the 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.
· Customers are encouraged to know where their natural gas meter is located.
· Following a weather emergency, ensure the gas meter is visible and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used after the storm to clean up a location may damage the meter if it is hidden.
· Exercise caution removing snow or ice from your natural gas meter assembly. Use your hands or a broom, not a shovel, to brush away snow or ice from your meter and regulator. Never kick or hit your gas meter or its piping with a hammer or any hard object to break away built-up snow or ice.
· If a natural gas meter is damaged or underground gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1 or the Elizabethtown Gas 24-hour emergency response number at 1-800-492-4009.
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 9-1-1 or 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.
· Heavy snow and ice may weigh down power lines and tree limbs, causing them to fall. If a natural gas meter is damaged or underground gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1 or the 24-hour emergency response line at 1-800-492-4009 from a safe location.
For more information and weather-related updates, visit www.elizabethtowngas.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @etowngas.