Columbia Gas offers cold weather safety tips

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Contact: Karl Brack, Communications Director
(804) 768-6410

With extremely low temperatures on the way, Columbia Gas of Virginia is offering cold weather tips to 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 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 water pipes by running water, even at a trickle, to help prevent pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. (Be sure to move any harmful household products out of the reach of children when leaving cabinets open.) Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage and close your outside crawl space vents to prevent frozen pipes.
  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.