Here are some spring safety reminders about underground lines and snow-packed gas meters.
If you’re ready for gardening, an important first step is to call 8-1-1 and arrange to have some buried utilities located and marked in your dig area. This is a free service offered by most utility companies across the country, including Xcel Energy.
Dig with care. Avoid digging near the marks, and before you dig again, be aware that the professional location markings are good only for a specific time.
On the other hand, If you still have your snow boots and shovel by the door, accumulated snow or ice on your gas meter can prevent it from operating properly by decreasing or increasing the flow of natural gas piped into your home.
Safeguard your gas meter:
Gently remove snow or ice from the natural gas meter.
Check often to ensure that melting snow or ice is not dripping on the meter from the roof or nearby trees. It can seal the meter’s vent if it refreezes.
Carefully remove accumulated snow and ice from the roof and roofline above the meter.
Carefully shovel around a meter and move snow away from it. Avoid using a snowblower near a meter.
Always keep a clear path to your gas meter, to allow quick access in an emergency. A snow and ice-covered meter, in addition to being potentially dangerous, can also lead to a loss of gas service and freezing of inside pipes as a result of lost heat.
If you smell natural gas in your home, leave immediately without turning on lights or using any other electrical switches, including garage door openers.
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