Columbia Gas of Virginia Offers 10 Simple Cold Weather Safety Tips

Contact: Bob Innes
(804) 768-6410
(804) 512-1425 - cellular
rinnes@nisource.com

Columbia Gas of Virginia Offers 10 Simple
Cold Weather Safety Tips

Chester, VA – January 3, 2014 - Extremely low temperatures are on the way and Columbia Gas of Virginia is offering simple cold weather tips that can keep your home safe and warm.

1. Make sure all appliances and heating equipment, such as a furnace, water heater or stove, are inspected and operating properly.
2. Do not store flammable materials near your natural gas furnace, water heater or stove.
3. Never use stoves, ovens or outdoor grills as a source of heat indoor.
4. Provide adequate ventilation when using fireplaces or unvented space heaters.
5. Change or clean the furnace filters to maximize equipment efficiency.
6. If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
7. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
8. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. The use of secondary heating sources, such as space heaters, can increase the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
9. Protect your water pipes - run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage and close your outside crawl space vents to prevent frozen pipes
  • Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children when leaving cabinet doors open.

10. Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to ensure they are operating according to manufacturer’s recommendation.

Natural Gas Meter Safety 

  • Keep natural gas meters clear of snow and ice to prevent damage and provide easy access should maintenance be needed.
  •  Remove snow from the meter with hands or a broom. Never use a shovel, or kick or hit the meter to break away snow or ice. If the meter is encased in ice, contact Columbia Gas of Virginia for assistance.

What To Do If You Smell Natural Gas
If you smell natural gas in your home (Similar to rotten eggs), evacuate immediately. Do not operate anything that could cause a spark including lights, cell phones, flashlights and appliances. From a safe location, call our emergency number at 1-800-544-5606 and 911.