Consumer Advisory: Keep natural gas meters free from snow and ice
Prevent potentially explosive build-up of natural gas caused by snow and ice accumulation
DENVER (March 23, 2016) — The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), a division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, is encouraging natural gas customers, especially those in mountain communities with heavy snowfalls, to keep their gas meters clear of snow and ice to prevent accidents.
“The accumulation of snow and ice on natural gas meters is a safety hazard,” said Joe Molloy, chief of the PUC’s Gas Pipeline Safety Unit. “Snow can block the vents on meters causing a potentially explosive build-up of natural gas that can leak back into the building.
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.
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.
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.
Terry Bote, Public Utilities Commission