Keep Vail gas meters snow-free |

Keep Vail gas meters snow-free

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Keep your gas meters free of ice and snow to prevent dangerous gas buildup, Vail Fire and Emergency Services officials said.

Snow and ice on roofs and in trees can melt and drip on meters, then refreeze, increasing the chance the meter will. Appliance vents, often located on a home’s roof, should be kept clear in order to operate properly, officials recommended.

The natural gas meter’s regulator vent is especially vulnerable to plugging any time there is a combination of snow and ice buildup and fluctuating temperatures. A plugged vent can prevent the proper flow of the gas, creating a potentially hazardous situation.

Gently remove snow or ice from the gas meter and any associated piping and the roofline above the meter. Also check that melting snow or ice is not dripping on the meter from the roof or nearby trees.

Before removing snow from rooftops or trees, always first look up to find any overhead power lines. You should have a clearance of at least 10 feet. Assume all power lines are energized and therefore dangerous.

Safety officials also recommend maintaining a clean path to and from the meter to allow for easy access in the event of an emergency.

Annual inspections of natural gas appliances and venting systems can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Venting systems can become packed with snow or ice or clogged with debris such as leaves and birds’ nests.

People using natural gas systems should leave the house immediately if they smell gas in their homes, and should follow these other important safety precautions:

– Don’t turn lights on or off or use any other electrical switches, including garage door openers, under any circumstances.

– Don’t open any windows or doors other than the ones you pass through on your way out.

– Don’t use a cell phone or any other phone while still in the house. Go to a neighbor’s house or other safe place away from your home to call Xcel Energy’s gas emergency number at 1-800-895-2999 for help, or 9-1-1 in an emergency.

– Don’t return to the home until a safety expert such as a utility company employee or firefighter says it’s safe to do so.

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