This to the MFD Chief from the gas company –
Safety Concerns from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
Serious Snow and Ice Safety Risks for Natural Gas Meters
Westborough, MA – Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is concerned with recent incidents involving large icicles and snow accumulation falling from rooftops onto natural gas meters. This can cause a rupture in the gas line and result in a serious gas leak. Also, snow and ice covered natural gas meters, and snow removing equipment striking gas meters has caused the release of natural gas.
With significant snowfall and frigid temperatures in the forecast, it is extremely important to make sure that your natural gas meter, and the exhaust vents for your heating equipment and other appliances are free of snow and ice. Gas equipment requires adequate airflow for safe combustion and proper venting of appliances to prevent a dangerous carbon monoxide situation.
The build-up of ice and snow around or over a natural gas meter poses a serious safety risk. Ice and snow falling from the eaves and gutters above your gas meter can damage the meter or service connections, potentially resulting in a gas leak. Please use a broom instead of a shovel to clear ice and snow from your gas meter. Don’t kick or hit the gas meter to break away snow and ice. Don’t shovel snow up against your meter. Be careful when using a snow blower or snow plow near your meter. Where possible, have a clear path to your gas meter in the event a technician or emergency responder should require access.
If your meter is encased in ice which you cannot remove, contact Columbia Gas for assistance at 1-800-677-5052. If you think there’s a problem with the gas piping or equipment, or if you smell gas, call Columbia’s 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-525-8222.
“The safety and comfort of our customers and communities is our number one priority,” said Steve Bryant, President of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. “We ask that you be diligent in removing snow and ice from above and around your natural gas meter, keep your appliance vents clear and your gas meter accessible. With record snowfall over the past month and continuing in the next couple days, this winter season continues to be a challenge for us all.”
For more safety tips and information visit http://www.ColumbiaGasMA.com
Subject: Urgent Safety Message to CMA Customers
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:19:25 -0600
Due to the continuing forecast of frigid temperatures and snow accumulation, we have sent out the attached press release to our local media asking that they communicate this important message cautioning customers about large icicles and snow accumulation falling from rooftops onto natural gas meters. We are also urging customer to remove ice and snow from their natural gas meters and gas appliance vents.
We have also cautioned customers to not use shovels to clear ice and snow from the natural gas meters. We have also asked that they keep a clear, accessible path to the gas meter in the event a technician or emergency responder should require access.
Wherever possible we ask that you share this communication. If you have the capabilities of posting this to your website, social media, or reverse 911 communications we would be most appreciative in assisting us in reaching as many customers as possible.
We have also sent an email blast to over 127,360 customers to whom we have email addresses.
We thank you for your support in our efforts to alert our customers to the safety risks associated with the accumulation of snow and ice around natural gas meters and gas appliance vents.
Andrea M. Luppi Don DiNunno
Manager Communications & Community Relations Manager Communications & Community Relations
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
2025 Roosevelt Avenue 995 Belmont Avenue
Springfield, MA 01104 Brockton, MA 02301
Office: 413-784-2145 Office: 508-580-0100 ext. 1311
Cell: 413-530-0907 Cell: 508-864-7099
External Affairs Specialist
(413)784-2130 – Work
(413)276-5822 – Cell