As snow continues to accumulate in upstate New York, National Grid is urging everyone to take precautions to avoid the potential hazards that these conditions can present.
The snow accumulation from Wednesday’s storm has posed several problems, but National Grid has dialed in on two specifically.
Ice and Snow Buildup Poses Risk to Gas Equipment
The buildup of ice and snow around or over natural gas meters, regulators, and pipes can pose a serious safety risk. Ice and snow falling from a roof can damage these gas meters and service connections to customers’ homes or businesses, resulting in potential gas leaks.
National Grid urges customers to call them immediately if they detect the odor of natural gas. If the odor is present inside the building, leave the premises immediately and call from a neighboring building.
Snow removal equipment operators also should be aware of the presence of natural gas equipment and avoid coming in contact with meters, hitting outside gas risers, or piling snow around vents mounted on the outside of buildings,
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. Ice and snow can block natural gas appliance vents and cause CO to back up into a building, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning to those inside.
National Grid advises natural gas customers to closely inspect areas around vents for snow and ice build-up and to remove anything that is blocking those vents. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can build up to dangerous levels without building occupants being aware that it’s present. Customers are encouraged to install CO detectors in their homes and to test detectors that may already be installed to ensure that they are in working order.
If you do detect an odor of natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and breathe deeply. If CO poisoning symptoms, such as headaches or drowsiness are severe, call 911 immediately.
National Grid’s emergency contact number is 1-800-892-2345.