), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, urges the public to keep natural gas meters, heating and appliance exhaust vents clear of snow and ice to prevent carbon monoxide buildup within their homes.
The nor'easter still impacting the region has left significant amounts of snow around people's homes. Heavy, wet or blowing snow can block heating and appliance exhaust vents which can cause equipment to malfunction resulting in a loss of heat or the possibility of a deadly buildup of carbon monoxide in the building. As snow accumulates, Unitil advises the public to take the following steps:
- > People with heating or other appliances with direct vents should check and keep vents clear of ice and snow.
- > Remove snow and ice carefully from a meter or outdoor appliance vent carefully with a broom. Do not use a shovel as it can damage the meter.
- > Avoid shoveling or plowing snow up against or covering the meter or pipe.
- > Remove icicles from overhead eaves and gutters to assure dripping water does not freeze the meter or vent pipe. Contact a qualified roofing vendor if you cannot reach the icicles yourself.
- > Do not kick your gas meter in an attempt to break ice off, as this too can cause damage.
Keeping vents and meters clear will allow for proper ventilation and can prevent carbon monoxide buildup within your home.
Customers experiencing outages should call the following toll-free numbers:
- For the NH Seacoast Area: 1-800-582-7276
- For the NH Capital Area: 1-800-852-3339
- For Massachusetts: 1-888-301-7700
You can also report outages online at http://www.unitil.com/report-outage