When a strong winter storm comes our way, we want you to be prepared. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to stay safe and warm:
- Check your carbon monoxide detectors
- Avoid frozen pipes: Open cabinets around plumbing and run a trickle of water
- Don’t use cooktops, ovens or grills for heat
- Clear areas around heating equipment vents
- While you’re shoveling or snow blowing your driveway, clear your meter of snow and ice. Make sure to use a broom. If your driveway is plowed, be sure that your meter and heating vents don't get buried in snow.
If you smell natural gas: Leave, call 911 from a safe location
- Keep your thermostat at or above 55 degrees to protect your pipes
- Open your shades during the day
Eight simple cold weather safety tips that can keep you and your home safe.
- Make sure all appliances and heating equipment, such as a furnace, water heater or stove, are inspected and operating properly, and operate all pieces of equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Never use stoves, ovens or outdoor grills as a source of heat.
- Provide adequate ventilation when using fireplaces or unvented space heaters.
- If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
- If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away from things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
- Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. Using secondary heating sources, such as space heaters, can increase the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Protect your pipes - run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage. **Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to ensure they are operating properly.
What To Do If You Smell Natural Gas
If you smell natural gas in your home, evacuate immediately. Do not operate anything that could cause a spark including lights, cell phones, flashlights, and appliances. From a safe location, call 911.