With cold weather expected for the President’s Day weekend, UGI encourages our customers and residents of the communities we serve to follow these tips to stay warm and help ensure the safe and reliable use of home heating equipment:
- 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, you may need to contact your heating contractor.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can result from a malfunctioning heating unit or other fuel-burning appliance, as well as from a blocked chimney. CO poisoning is more common 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, plants dying, and residents in the home suffering flu-like symptoms or feeling unusually tired. Individuals who believe they may be experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning should immediately seek fresh air and prompt medical attention.
- Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and the batteries powering them are fresh.
- Remember that an electric power outage will affect blowers and newer 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 heating professional for service.
- Use extra caution when using space heaters. 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 of 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 catch sparks and rolling logs.
- 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.
- 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, 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 (1-800-652-0550 in the UGI Central Penn Gas area). 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.
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 670,000 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.