Weekly Feature

2017-12-07 / Business

National Fuel issues winter safety tips

National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation advises homeowners to be vigilant and pay attention to outdoor gas meters, furnaces, and vents throughout the winter season. Snow, ice, and extreme cold temperatures can pose a variety of safety and performance issues for heating systems.

Ensure outdoor gas meter safety and proper service by:

Keeping the gas meter and area around the meter free of snow.

Clearing paths to the meter.

Informing those working, shoveling, plowing, or snow blowing around a meter of its location.

Calling National Fuel, 1-800-365-3234, if a meter becomes encased in ice; do not attempt to break or melt the ice.

Natural gas furnaces and fireplaces have a vent pipe or flue that sends exhaust and gaseous byproducts outdoors through a chimney or pipe. Furnace exhaust vents can become easily clogged by debris, ice, or snow, causing the furnace to shut off or operate inefficiently. Blocked vents also can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide gas inside a residence.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and dangerous gas produced when fuel is burned without enough air for complete combustion. When inhaled, carbon monoxide can cause unconsciousness, brain damage, and even death. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, coughing, headache, irregular breathing, dizziness, overall paleness, nausea, and cherry red lips and/or ears. Those experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning should immediately open windows and doors, move outside, and call 911.

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