Columbia Gas Offers Winter Safety Reminders

With winter weather and low temperatures continuing across Virginia, Columbia Gas of Virginia is encouraging residents to keep in mind some important home heating safety tips:

• Make sure all heating equipment and appliances are inspected and operating properly. Operate all equipment – including generators and space heaters – according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

• Never use stoves, ovens or outdoor grills as a source of heat.

• Provide adequate ventilation when using fireplaces, generators or unvented space heaters.

• Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Only operate the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home.

• Do not hook up a generator directly to your home’s wiring. Instead, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

• 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 3 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.

• 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.

Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to ensure they are operating properly.

Natural Gas Meter Safety

• Keep natural gas meters clear of snow and ice to prevent damage and provide easy access should maintenance be needed.

• Remove snow from the meter with hands or a broom. Never use a shovel, or kick or hit the meter to break away snow or ice. If the meter is encased in ice, contact Columbia Gas for assistance.

What to Do If You Smell Natural Gas

• If you smell natural gas in your home, leave immediately. Do not operate anything that could cause a spark including lights, cellphones, flashlights and appliances. From a safe location, call Columbia’s emergency number at (800) 544-5606 and 911.

To learn more about natural gas safety, visit safety.

The News-Gazette

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Lexington, VA 24450
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