Friday, March 15, 2019

Keep your family safe by clearing snow and ice away from meters and vents

In the past few weeks, we received numerous reports from customers in western and central Wisconsin of damaged natural gas meters and blocked vents from snow and ice.

Damage to natural gas meters can cause dangerous gas leaks, and blocked vents can trap carbon monoxide indoors, causing a deadly threat to you and your family. Keeping the meter clear mitigates these risks and ensures that we can get to it quickly in an emergency.

If your roof has snow on it, beware. Melting snow can slide off your roof and onto your natural gas meter. Remove any snow buildup on your roof to prevent this from happening.

Ice fell from the roof of this home in
Richland Center damaging the natural gas meter

Icicles pose another problem. When it’s mild, they start dripping. A wet gas meter isn’t a problem, but a ice covered one is – and that’s what happens when the temperature drops.

“We are receiving 10 or more reports a day of damaged meters and natural gas leaks in the past week. These incidents sometimes led to some evacuations,” said Matthew Murphy, operations manager for We Energies.

Communities such as Montello, Wautoma, Wisconsin Rapids, Sparta, Marshfield, Owen, Rice Lake, Amery, Elmwood and many more have reported issues.

To avoid problems:

· Remove icicles that may drip water onto the meter.

· Avoid kicking or hitting the meter to break away built-up snow or ice.

· Use a broom to gently brush snow off the meter.

· Always shovel away from the meter.

· Take care when using a snow thrower or plow near your meter.

If you smell a natural gas odor, leave the house immediately and call our natural gas emergency number at 800-261-5325 from a nearby phone.

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