Reading, PA – During extremely cold weather, UGI strongly urges consumers who use fuel-burning heating systems to take proper precautions to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. A malfunctioning heating unit can spread CO through your home, especially if your unit has not recently been serviced. Carbon Monoxide safety is particularly important during the winter when homes are closed tightly.
Additionally, UGI strongly advises that consumers be aware of the significant safety risks of using appliances such as ovens, ranges and dryers to heat their homes (or to provide supplemental heat to their homes). Misuse of appliances in this manner can cause an extremely dangerous fire hazard, and can spread (CO) throughout a consumer’s home.
In addition to natural gas appliances, common sources of CO include leaking chimneys; unvented, fuel-burning space heaters (especially if malfunctioning); and indoor use of a charcoal barbeque grill.
Carbon monoxide CO is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that results from the incomplete burning of fuels such as wood, charcoal, gasoline, kerosene, oil, natural gas or propane.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. Signs within a home that an appliance may be malfunctioning and producing CO include:
CO poisoning can be fatal. Fresh air and prompt medical attention are important if you are experiencing any symptoms of CO poisoning. To prevent CO poisoning, you should:
Customers are reminded to contact 911 or UGI immediately if they small gas inside or outside of their home or business at 1-800-276-2722 (for CPG customers, call 1-800-652-0550). There is no charge to respond to and investigate a gas odor. Natural gas is odorless, so a chemical, known as mercaptan, is added to help with detection. The smell is similar to that of rotten eggs.
UGI Utilities’ headquarters is located in Reading, Pennsylvania. The utility serves more than 648,000 natural gas and electric customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania. Additional information about UGI is available at ugi.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/ugiutilities or Twitter at twitter.com/ugi_utilities.