Clear ice and snow around appliance vents and gas meters

Build-up of ice and snow around appliance vents and gas meters can lead to elevated CO levels and damaged equipment

As snow accumulations continue to mount across our service territories and with more snowfall forecasted over the coming days, we’re urging everyone to take precautions to avoid the potential hazards these conditions present. At many homes and businesses, the deep snowpack and additional snow left by snow removal equipment is clogging vents to furnaces and other appliances. In addition, many roofs are laden with ice and snow overhanging natural gas equipment. Both conditions can lead to trouble.

Ice and snow buildup poses risk to gas equipment

The buildup of ice and snow around or over natural gas meters, regulators and pipes can
pose a serious safety risk as well. Ice and snow falling from a roof can damage gas meters or
service connections to customers’ homes or businesses, resulting in potential gas leaks. Anyone
detecting the odor of natural gas should call National Grid. If the odor is present inside your
building, leave the premises immediately and call from outside or a neighboring building.
Snow removal equipment operators also should be aware of the presence of natural gas
equipment and avoid coming in contact with meters, hitting outside gas risers, or piling snow
around vents mounted on the outside of buildings, which can cause the dilemma illustrated below.

Gas meter in snowGas meter
CO Safety
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. Ice and snow that block natural
gas appliance vents can cause CO to back up into a building, resulting in carbon monoxide
poisoning to those inside. National Grid advises natural gas customers to closely inspect areas
around vents for snow and ice build-up and to remove anything that is blocking those vents.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and can build up to dangerous levels without building occupants
being aware that it’s present. Customers are encouraged to install CO detectors in their homes and to test detectors that may already be installed to ensure that they are in working order
If you do detect an odor of natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go
outside immediately and breathe deeply. If CO poisoning symptoms, such as headaches or
drowsiness are severe, call 911 immediately.

After calling 911, call National Grid’s emergency contact number at 1-800-892-2345.

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