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Utilities Kingston offers snow-related safety tips

February 17, 2016 -

Don't shovel or blow snow onto gas meters and fire hydrants: after a significant snow fall in the area, Utilities Kingston offers these safety tips to help protect your home, property and loved ones this winter. 

Kingstonians concerned about the safety of a utility serviced by Utilities Kingston can call the 24-hour line at 613-546-1181.

Keep gas and electrical meters clear: Although your outdoor gas meter is 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 both your gas and electric meters – and avoid piling snow under the meters or electrical wires.

Keep hydrants visible: Residents and snow removal companies are reminded not to shovel or blow snow onto hydrants. We thank citizens who take the time to clear snow and ice from fire hydrants, providing access to fire fighters in case of emergency.

Did you know? After a heavy snow fall, we inspect all 3,200 hydrants in the municipal water distribution system and then make them accessible for fire protection. The inspection process involves dividing the area into 16 ‘hydrant beats' of approximately 200 hydrants each, visually inspecting each hydrant, and then clearing them of snow and ice as needed.

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.

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. Ontario's Fire Code requires detectors near all sleeping areas in homes with fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, stoves or fireplaces. It also applies to all residences with attached garages.

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—a dangerous and costly situation. Consider that the root of the problem may be poor attic insulation.

Protect internal plumbing from freezing: Extended periods of extremely cold weather can put internal plumbing at risk, especially exposed pipes located in exterior walls, unheated basements and crawl spaces. Know how to check for water lines that may be at risk of freezing and get preventative tips from the Utilities Kingston website.

Know what to do in the event of a winter storm:  Severe weather can cause power outages and downed power lines, as well as put your basement at risk of flooding.  Visit the Utilities Kingston website and learn how to be prepared.

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

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

About Utilities Kingston: Utilities Kingston operates multiple utilities through a single service structure, allowing it to deliver cost savings and customer service excellence. The company is unique in Ontario, combining water, wastewater, gas and electrical services, and broadband fibre optics in one company. Trusted by customers to deliver reliable utilities for more than 150 years, employees are proud to provide personal, responsive services.

Connect with Utilities Kingston – all your utility needs under one roof.

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www.UtilitiesKingston.com