LINCOLN, Neb. — Jan. 25, 2021 — Snow and ice buildup on natural gas meters can create a safety hazard, and even cut off the flow of natural gas to your heating and appliances.
Gas meters and regulators are durable – designed with winter weather in mind, but a coating of ice or snow could lead to safety and service issues. If you can, gently remove the snow before it has a chance to freeze. It’s best to use your hands or a soft broom to brush away buildup on and around your meter. Please do not use a shovel, ice pick, or another hard or sharp tool, which could damage your meter, and put you and others at serious risk.
Additional severe winter weather safety practices:
- Keep snow blowers and shovels away from gas meters and other above-ground equipment.
- Brush snow away from the outdoor vent on your high-efficiency furnace. It won’t run safely and efficiently if the vent is blocked.
- Look out for icicles hanging from eaves which could fall and damage gas meters, or hurt someone below.
- Make sure anyone you hire for snow removal knows where your meter and other above-ground utility structures are located.
“We have been preparing for this storm, and our crews across Nebraska are ready to respond as customers need us,” said Kevin Jarosz, Black Hills Energy’s vice president of Nebraska operations. “Safety is at the heart of everything we do, which includes preventing issues related to higher snow totals.”
Customers should contact Black Hills Energy at 888-890-5554.
Think you smell gas?
To help you detect a leak, natural gas is injected with an odorant that many compare to the stench of rotten eggs. If you suspect an indoor gas leak:
- Get out immediately. Call 911, then call Black Hills Energy at 888-890-5554.
- On your way out, don’t touch switches or electronics, and leave windows and doors as-is. These actions will help avoid creating a spark of static electricity capable of igniting any gas in the air.
- Account for everyone, and under no circumstances should you go back inside. Emergency responders and Black Hills Energy technicians will let you know when it’s safe to return.
Visit www.blackhillsenergy.com for additional safety information.