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Keep Utility Equipment Clear of Snow and Ice

March 11, 2014 -

Crews responding to a high number of safety issues due to snow & ice build up

With another big blast of winter expected tonight, Utilities Kingston is alerting the public about the risk of snow and ice build-up on outdoor utility equipment, in particular gas meters. This season's large amount of snow and many freeze-thaw cycles have meant crews are identifying a high number of buried and ice-covered meters.  Protect your home and loved ones: keep this equipment clear of snow and ice.

"Although your outdoor gas meter is designed to withstand winter weather, heavy or hard-packed snow and ice can be a safety hazard. We encourage customers to stay aware of their gas meter location and to keep the area clear," explains Jim Keech, President and CEO of Utilities Kingston.

Never shovel or blow snow onto the gas meter and be aware that water dripping from eaves can encase this equipment in ice. The Utilities Kingston website offers more information on keeping gas meters clear. If you suspect a problem with this equipment, call Utilities Kingston 24/7 at 613-546-1181.

The utility offers the following winter safety tips:

Report gas smells or "hissing":   If you suspect a gas leak and are inside, leave the premises immediately. Do not do anything that could create a spark (i.e., don't use cell phones, switches or lighters). If you are outside, clear the area and do not use lighters or start vehicles. Call 613-546-1181, ext. 2151 when you are safe.

Make hydrants visible: We thank citizens who take the time to clear snow and ice from fire hydrants, providing access to fire fighters in case of emergency.

Prevent water from freezing around electrical lines:  Never attempt to clear ice from around electrical lines yourself (Utilities Kingston customers: call 613-546-1181 if you are concerned).  Keep your eaves troughs free of debris so water runs safely away before it freezes. Ice can build up where overhead electrical service wires attach to your home—this could cause a dangerous and costly situation. Consider that the root of the problem may be poor attic insulation.

Install and obey carbon monoxide (CO) detectors:  CO is an invisible, odourless gas that can kill you in high concentrations. If your CO detector goes off, immediately evacuate all occupants (pets, too!) and call 911. It is now mandatory to have CO detectors next to all sleeping areas in homes with fuel-burning appliances. 

Also keep electric meters clear: Although your outdoor meters are designed to withstand winter weather, heavy or hard-packed snow and ice can be a safety hazard. Keep snow and ice from building up on and covering meters – and avoid piling snow under the meters or electrical wires. Clear access to your electric meter is important in case we need to repair or maintain electric services.

For more information on keeping your home and family safe, visit www.utilitieskingston.com

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Media contact: For more information call Communications at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.

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