Xcel Energy: Keep your gas meters clear of snow, ice

Published On: Dec 20 2012 09:48:01 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 20 2012 09:42:50 AM CST
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -

Xcel Energy wants to remind customers to keep their natural gas meters free of snow and ice.

If the meters are covered, there is a potential for dangerous natural gas pressure to build up in your home.

Xcel Energy recommends that customers gently remove snow or ice from the gas meter and any associated piping and the roofline above the meter. You should also check to make sure that melting snow or ice is not dripping on the meter from the roof or nearby trees, which can plug the vent if it refreezes.

Xcel Energy also recommends that appliance vents, which might be located on a home’s roof, be kept clear in order to operate properly.

If you smell natural gas, a bad smell typically described as rotten egg or sulfur-like, in your home, Xcel Energy says you should leave the house immediately and follow these other important safety precautions:

-Don't turn lights on or off or use any other electrical switches, including garage door openers, under any circumstances.

-Don't open any windows or doors other than the ones you pass through on your way out.

-Don't use a cell phone or any other phone while still in the house; go to a neighbor's house or other safe place away from your home to call Xcel Energy’s gas emergency number - 1-800-895-2999 - for help, or 911 in an emergency.