As cold temperatures continue, NIPSCO is reminding customers to keep their electric and natural gas meters free from snow and ice. Although meters are designed to withstand winter weather conditions, heavy or hard-packed snow and ice, icicles falling from building eaves, or water dripping from a roof and freezing on the meter could create a potential safety hazard.
To help avoid these types of problems, customers are urged to follow some basic tips:
· Keep your meter clear of ice and snow. Use your hands or a broom instead of a shovel to avoid potential damage to the meter. NEVER kick or hit your gas meter or its piping with a hammer to break away built-up snow or ice. If you have no heat or suspect low gas pressure to your gas appliances, call NIPSCO to assist you.
· Make sure your gas meter is visible at all times and accessible for maintenance by NIPSCO personnel and, if necessary, emergency responders.
· If you smell the odor of natural gas (similar to rotten eggs), leave the area immediately and call 911 and NIPSCO at 1-800-464-7726 from a nearby safe location.
It is also important that snow and ice are cleared around the fresh air and exhaust vents for gas appliances to prevent equipment malfunction and the possibility of carbon monoxide buildup.
Customers are urged to use caution when clearing snow off flat roofs, particularly in commercial or industrial buildings. There may be rooftop heating or cooling equipment, as well as electric or fuel lines on the roof. These lines may not be easily visible under a couple feet of snow.