Winter Safety Tips

Winter Safety Tips

Winter Weather Meter Protection

Natural gas meters and equipment are designed to withstand winter weather conditions including heavy snow and ice. Hard-packed snow, icicles falling from your eaves, or water dripping from your roof and freezing on your meter can create a safety hazard. Also, snow and ice build-up around the fresh-air and exhaust vents for your natural gas appliances can cause them to malfunction and create a carbon monoxide hazard.

1. Keep your meter clear of snow and ice.

  • Make sure your meter is visible at all times and accessible for maintenance and emergency responders including Columbia Gas service personnel, meter readers and firefighters.
  • Never let snow completely cover your meter.
  • Use caution when using a shovel around your meter, don't shovel snow up against your meter.
  • Where possible, use a broom instead of a shovel to clear snow away from the meter.
  • Take care using a snow blower or plow near your meter.
  • Never kick or hit the gas meter or its piping to break away built-up snow or ice. Remove the snow or ice with your hands.
  • If your gas meter is completely encased in ice, or if you think there's a potential problem with the piping or equipment, call our 24-hour emergency line at 1-888-460-4332.

2. Keep your eaves and gutters clear. 

  • Remove icicles hanging from your eaves or gutters.
  • Protect your meter from dripping water that could freeze on the meter and piping.
  • If an abnormal amount of snow has accumulated on your roof, use a shovel to remove and protect the dwelling.

3. Keep air supply ducts and vents clear.

  • Keep vents unobstructed and free of debris. Some direct-vent and high-efficiency appliances have side wall vents and air intakes that could become obstructed during heavy snow fall.
  • Gas equipment requires air for safe combustion and venting of appliances.
  • Know where your air supply ducts are and keep them free of snow and ice.
  • Check that your chimney or roof vent is clear.

Why is it so important to keep your meter clear?

  • Accumulated snow places stress on your meter piping and damage to the piping can cause a gas leak.
  • In case of emergency, emergency response crews need clear access to your meter.
  • Blocked vents might create abnormal pressure, affect appliance operation, and interrupt service.

If you smell natural gas inside your home, get out immediately. From a safe location, away from the building, call 911 and Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania at 1-888-460-4332.