UGI Reminds Residents To Be Safe and “Winter-Wise” During Continued Cold Weather
02 Jan 2018
With unseasonably cold weather expected to continue through the weekend, UGI encourages our customers and residents of the communities we serve to follow these tips to stay warm and help ensure safe and reliable energy service:
- Be aware that UGI adds an odorant, which smells like rotten eggs, to natural gas to help you detect a gas leak. The odorant is added in small concentrations and is harmless. If you smell an odor of rotten eggs, it’s important to leave the building immediately, taking everyone with you. Do not use the phone, light a match, or switch anything on or off. Leave the door open, and once clear of the area call 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. UGI emergency responders are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Your safety is always our top priority.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can result from a malfunctioning heating unit or other fuel-burning appliance, as well as from a blocked chimney or exhaust line. CO poisoning occurs more frequently during cold weather, when heating units are operating and home windows and doors are closed tightly. CO is a colorless, odorless, gas. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. Signs that an appliance may be producing CO include condensation on walls and windows, house pets becoming sluggish. and residents in the home suffering flu-like symptoms or feeling unusually tired. While CO itself is odorless, the malfunctioning equipment may generate an exhaust-like odor. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning, seek fresh air immediately as well as prompt medical attention. Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and the batteries powering them are fresh.
- Check your outdoor gas meter, gas piping and appliance vents regularly to ensure they are clear of snow and ice. Use a snow brush or broom to gently clear any snow or ice off of the meter and associated pipes. Avoid using a shovel, plow or snow blower near gas equipment. Do not kick, hit or use sharp objects to remove snow or ice. Never use salt, hot water or ice melting chemicals to remove snow or ice from your meter or associated pipes. Repair leaky downspouts to prevent water from dripping on your gas meter or vents. Don’t pile snow up against your gas meter or appliance vents. If your meter is near a sidewalk or driveway, make sure it is visible to snowplow drivers. If you suspect a problem or see ice buildup on your meter that can’t be removed easily with a brush or by hand, call UGI at 1-800-276-2722.
- In extreme cold weather, your heating unit may have difficulty maintaining the temperature set on your thermostat based on the system capacity and other factors. However, if your equipment is not functioning properly, consider contacting your heating contractor.
- Remember that an electric power outage will affect blowers and newer natural-gas fired heaters with electronic ignitions. If your gas heater does not relight when the power returns, turn the unit off for a moment, then back on. If it still does not light, call a qualified HVAC professional for service.
- Use extra caution when using space heaters inside your home. Place a space heater on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable (such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs) at least three feet away from the unit.
- Never use a generator, grill, portable/camping stove or other fossil fuel burning device inside a home, garage or other enclosed area. Never heat a home with an oven if your electricity goes out.
- If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to prevent sparks and rolling logs from contacting any room furnishings.
- Always turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. Using secondary heating sources, such as space heaters, can increase the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning. More information on these and other safety-related topics is available on our website at www.ugi.com.
- UGI Utilities has headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania and serves 700,000 customers in 45 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland. Customers and community members are invited to visit the UGI website at www.ugi.com; our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ugiutilities; or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ugi_utilities.