Fire Chief Jason Whiteley .is warning residents today to shovel out gas meters buried in snow.
With heavy snowfalls this winter, North Bay Fire and Emergency Services say it is imperative to keep snow and ice from building up and covering your gas meter and the external exhaust outlets for furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters, and clothes dryers.
Plugged external exhaust vents can cause the carbon monoxide emitted from fuel burning appliances to build up in your home, which is a safety hazard. Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless, tasteless gas which is very toxic.
A gas meter covered in snow or ice can impede its function of controlling the pressure of the gas supplied to your home, which could lead to serious risks.
“Clearing snow and ice away from the gas meter and the external exhaust outlets for your natural gas burning equipment helps ensure that both the meter and your appliances function safely,” said Whiteley. “It also allows us or the gas company access to the meter in the case of an emergency.”
If you notice your meter or external appliance vent pipe is covered with snow, remove the snow carefully with either a brush or broom. Do not scrape your meter or vent pipe with a sharp instrument or shovel as this may cause unintended damage.
Other safety precautions include:
- Do not shovel, plow or blow snow up against the meter or vent
- Be careful not to bump your meter with a snow blower.
- Never kick your gas meter or vent pipes in an attempt to clear ice and snow.
- Remove any icicles from overhead eaves troughs to ensure dripping water does not splash and freeze on the meter or vent pipe