As this massive snowstorm makes its way through the Chicagoland area, homeowners should take precautions to stay safe, as the extreme weather could result in conditions that could cover vents, natural gas meters and regulators.
The companies warn that if snow covers natural gas meters and regulators, it could cause a freeze up that disrupts the flow of gas into the home and causes a safety hazard. It’s important to clear the snow away from gas meters and regulators.
Homeowners with new high-efficiency furnaces and water heaters that vent through the wall (not into a chimney) should be wary of a buildup of snow or ice around the vent. The newer equipment provides great savings in terms of efficiency but a blocked vent could cause the heating system to malfunction by shutting off or, in extreme cases, lead to the accumulation of carbon monoxide in the home. During this period of heavy snowfall, make sure to regularly check the outside vents just to make sure they aren’t covered with snow or ice. Also make sure that your outside dryer vents are free of obstruction, so that no carbon monoxide backs up into your home.
People’s Gas/North Shore Gas also says it’s also important to be aware of icicles forming, as icicles that form above natural gas meters could break and fall onto the meters causing damage. Damaged meters could malfunction and cause service interruptions to homes. It’s best to clear the area above meters, if you can safely do so.
With sub-zero temperatures following the snow storm, the utility companies also want to remind customers of the importance of having a working carbon monoxide (CO), as required by Illinois law in their homes and apartments. The presence of carbon monoxide detectors can save lives.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas and that can cause sickness and in some cases, death. Carbon monoxide can come from inadequately burned fuel and improperly vented appliances which can include water heaters, furnaces, dryers, space heaters and boilers, ranges/stoves, clothes dryers, grills, fireplaces and portable generators.
Take note of Peoples Gas emergency number at 1-866-556-6002 or the North Shore Gas emergency number at 1-866-556-6005. For more information on CO safety, please visit www.peoplesgasdelivery.com or www.northshoregasdelivery.com.
Stay warm and safe today!