As cold temperatures continue, NIPSCO is reminding customers to keep their electric and natural gas meters free of snow and ice. Although meters are designed to withstand winter weather conditions, heavy or hard-packed snow and ice, icicles falling from building eaves, or water dripping from a roof and freezing on the meter could create potential safety hazards.
To help prevent these types of problems, customers are urged to follow some basic tips:
· Keep your meter clear of ice and snow. Use your hands or a broom instead of a shovel to avoid potential damage to the meter and the piping connected to it. NEVER kick or hit your electric or gas meter or its piping with a hammer to break away built-up snow or ice. If you have no heat or suspect low gas pressure to your gas appliances, call NIPSCO at 1-800-464-7726 to assist you.
· Make sure your electric and gas meters are visible at all times and accessible for maintenance by NIPSCO personnel and, if necessary, emergency responders.
· Carbon monoxide detectors should be located on every level of your home, as well as outside and inside all sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace the batteries at least twice a year.
· If you smell the odor of natural gas (similar to rotten eggs), leave the area immediately and call 911 and NIPSCO at 1-800-464-7726 from a nearby safe location.
Snow and ice should be cleared around fresh air and exhaust vents to prevent equipment malfunction and buildup of toxic fumes and carbon monoxide.
Customers are urged to use caution when clearing snow off flat roofs, particularly in commercial or industrial buildings. There may be rooftop heating or cooling equipment, as well as electric or fuel lines on the roof, which may not be easily visible under small amounts of snow cover.