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Safety

Are You “Winter Wise” During Cold Weather?

27 Jan 2020

Although cold weather comes as no surprise during the winter months, many residents are not prepared for it. Winter often brings storms that can result in significant snow and ice accumulationUGI encourages residents and community members to use the following tips to be “winter wise” during cold weather.

Power Outages: Power outages can leave you without heat in cold weather for long periods of time. In the event of an outage, never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage, or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent. Visit UGI’s outage center www.ugi.com/outages/ for more outage safety tips. 

ShovelingShoveling can put excessive strain on the heart and body, especially if you’ve been more sedentary during the winter months. Push the snow rather than lifting it. If you have to lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill a larger shovel. Lift with your legs, not with your back. 

snow covered electric pole and power lines
 

Snow Blower: Keep your hands away from moving parts on your snow blower. Avoid running a snow blower in an enclosed space, which can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup. Add fuel outdoors before starting and never add fuel while the snow blower is running. Never leave your snow blower unattended while it is running. 

Carbon Monoxide: Heaters and generators are commonly used in the winter and produce potentially dangerous carbon monoxide (CO)Install a battery-operated CO detector near each sleeping area in your home and replace the batteries when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Consider a CO detector that doubles as a smoke detector. Be on the lookout for headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness—these are all signs of CO poisoning. 

Driving: Allow yourself ample time to drive to work and walk into the building. When roads are snowy or icy, it is important that you drive slowly and carefully, which may increase commute time but will allow you to get to work as safely as possible. Clear your car completely of snow, including all windows, the front and back windshields, the lights, and the roof. 

person shoveling snow away from vehicle
 

Walking: Exit your vehicle safely by using three points of contact and stepping down instead of out to reduce the chance of slipping. When walking on snow or ice, take short, slow steps. Bend your knees slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity over your feet as much as possible. Remember to walk like a penguin! 

Outdoor Meter: Carefully clear snow and ice away from your meter by hand with a shovel or broom. Never use a snow blower or plow. If the snow is thick, clear a path for UGI employees to safely access your meter. Visit www.ugi.com/meter-safety-relocation/ for more meter safety tips. 

Smell Gas: An odorant that smells like rotten eggs is added to natural gas to assist in detecting a gas leak. If you smell the odor of natural gas, leave the building immediately, taking everyone with you and leaving the door open. Do not use the phone, light a match, or switch anything on or off. Go to a location at least 330 feet away (slightly longer than a football field) where the odor of gas is no longer present and call 911 or UGI from your cell phone or neighbor’s home. UGI’s emergency response number is 1-800-276-2722. UGI will send a service technician to investigate the odor immediately.

For more natural gas and electricity safety tips, visit www.ugi.com/safety. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for live weather and power outage updates.