On Thursday, February 3, 2011, National Grid issued a warning to alert the public and workers about the dangers from snow and ice build-up. National Grid is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern United States; it serves approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island.
National Grid recommends clearing snow and ice from roofs, around gas meters, and near vents. National Grid also advises people to stay clear of large piles of snow and to stay away from high-voltage equipment.
National Grid is getting out the message to customers that snow and ice build-up around or over gas meters and vents for natural appliances can pose a serious safety risk. In addition, chunks of ice or snow sliding off rooftops has the potential to damage gas meters or service connections to homes and businesses, causing a risk of gas leaks.
Another possible danger, if vents are blocked by ice and snow, deadly carbon monoxide (CO) can back up into homes or businesses resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning. It is important to check home CO detectors to ensure they are working properly. Anyone who suspects there may be carbon monoxide in their home or workplace is instructed to go outside immediately and breathe deeply. For severe symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 right away.
National Grid asks its natural gas customers to inspect areas around and over gas meters, service hook-ups and vents, for ice and snow to help prevent problems.
Be aware that the snow may be covering electric lines and equipment, including live wires. Remain a minimum of ten feet from wires, poles, and other National Grid equipment. Keep children and pets away from snow piles below overhead lines. Snow plows, blowers, roof rakes, shovels, and other equipment can conduct electricity when they come into contact with energized equipment.
Downed or fallen wires should be considered live and dangerous. Call National Grid immediately if you see fallen lines, broken poles, or trees touching wires. Please keep away from fallen wires; keep children and pets clear of the area as well.
Whom to Call:
· In New England, National Grid customers should report gas or electric-related incidents or concerns by contacting the company’s Customer Service Contact Center at 800-322-3223.
· In New York, National Grid Customers should report gas or electric-related incidents or concerns by contacting the company’s Customer Service Contact Center at 800-642-4272.
National Grid also provides real-time outage information 24 hours a day, including the option to report an outage, in the Outage Central section of the company web page at www.nationalgridus.com
Source: Thanks to National Grid for supplying the safety and contact information contained in this article. All information is courtesy of Aigner/Prensky Marketing Group.
Photo: IN SPACE – FEBRUARY 2: In this GOES-East satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), a winter storm is seen as it moves across the the U.S.February 2, 2011 from space. Snow and ice have been falling across the U.S. in what is being reported as the largest winter storm in decades. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)