DENVER — With forecasts of a major winter storm targeting the state this weekend, Colorado utility customers are reminded to inspect their natural gas meters on a regular basis and remove any ice and snow buildup.
“The accumulation of snow and ice on natural gas meters is a safety hazard,” said Joe Molloy, chief of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC)’s Gas Pipeline Safety Unit. “Keeping meters clear of snow and ice will help prevent damage that could result in a dangerous situation.”
Accumulated snow and ice places stress on the regulator or meter piping, and could cause gas to leak into your home and create a hazardous condition. Excessive snow cover also may result in abnormal pressure, affect appliance operation and interrupt your service.
Damage to natural gas facilities may also result from the impact of snow or ice falling from roofs, ice forming in or on regulators preventing their proper operation, or shoveling snow from roofs to protect dwellings from abnormal snow accumulations.
When removing heavy accumulations of snow or ice, do not strike meters with snow blowers, blades or shovels. Do not kick your meter to break or clear ice. Use a broom, a snow brush, or your hands to lightly remove snow and ice that is capable of being removed. For extremely heavy ice buildup, contact your local gas utility.
The problem of melting snow and ice falling on exposed meters will continue through the spring as daytime temperatures rise and then fall below freezing overnight. Customers who notice ice on their meters or are concerned that meter vents may be blocked should contact their local gas utility.
If you own a vacation home or plan to be away from your home for an extended period, designate someone to clear your gas meter and sidewall appliance vents regularly while you’re away. After you’re back in the home, be especially attentive to any gas odor.
Customers should leave their residences immediately if they detect a gas or propane odor and report the odor to their local gas utility, propane operator or designated emergency response officials.
About the PUC
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) serves the public interest by effectively regulating utilities and facilities so that the people of Colorado receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services consistent with the economic, environmental and social values of our state.