Editorial by National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp.
National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. advises homeowners to be vigilant and pay attention to outdoor gas meters, furnaces and vents throughout the winter season. Snow, ice and extreme cold temperatures can pose a variety of safety and performance issues for heating systems.
Ensure outdoor gas meter safety and proper service by:
Natural gas furnaces and fireplaces have a vent pipe or flue that sends exhaust and gaseous byproducts outdoors through a chimney or pipe. Furnace exhaust vents can become easily clogged by debris, ice or snow, causing the furnace to shut off or operate inefficiently. Blocked vents also can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide gas inside a residence.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and dangerous gas produced when fuel (heating oil, propane, kerosene, charcoal, gasoline, wood or natural gas) is burned without enough air for complete combustion. When inhaled, carbon monoxide can cause unconsciousness, brain damage and death. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: fatigue, coughing, headache, irregular breathing, dizziness, overall paleness, nausea and cherry red lips and/or ears. Those experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning should immediately open windows and doors, move outside and call 911.
Avoid a carbon monoxide emergency by:
As always, if you smell gas, act fast! If a rotten-egg natural gas odor is present, leave the premises immediately without turning on or off any electrical appliances and call National Fuel's emergency line (1-800-444-3130) from a different location. If you smell an odor of gas outdoors, please call National Fuel's emergency number and provide the address nearest to the site of the odor.
To learn more about natural gas safety, visit http://www.nationalfuelgas.com/forhome/gassafety.
National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. is the utility segment of National Fuel Gas Co., a diversified energy company that is engaged in a number of natural gas-related activities. The utility provides natural gas service to approximately 738,000 customers in Western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. To learn more about the company, visit www.NationalFuelGas.com.