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CenterPoint Energy reminds residents about snow and ice

CenterPoint Energy reminds the public of important tips to stay safe, prevent service interruption and ensure proper meter operation. 

Snow and ice accumulation on or near the natural gas meter set or above a meter set on a roof can cause potentially dangerous conditions; including natural gas buildup in homes and businesses and even service disruptions, CenterPoint Energy reported.

Accumulations of snow and ice can affect proper operation or ventilation of the regulator. Regulators are designed to maintain a constant pressure, ensure safe delivery of natural gas and vent natural gas safely to the atmosphere.

Snow can block vents and freeze the meter causing improper operation. Thawing snow or ice dams from rooftops above the meter should be kept clear to prevent the dam from falling on the meter set. Additionally, customers should maintain a clear path to the meter set to provide easy access to the natural gas meter, CenterPoint Energy reported.

To help ensure safe operation: Keep the meter area and a path to the meter clear of snow and debris. Snow removal and a clear path to natural gas equipment is the responsibility of the property owner.

Ensure that snow removal equipment and plows do not deposit snow and ice onto or near natural gas meters and regulators.

Do not use a snow blower or shovel near the meter or attempt to remove ice from the meter yourself, CenterPoint Energy advises. Clearing snow by hand or with a broom is recommended to keep the snow cleared around the piping and on top of the meter assembly.

CenterPoint Energy advises making sure home and business venting systems and outdoor fresh air intakes to natural gas equipment are clear of snow and ice and not clogged. Blocked vents and intakes may cause natural gas and carbon monoxide to back up into the home. 

If there is ice on the meter, or one or more of the following conditions, call (800) 296-9815. 

The call, inspection and maintenance are free: Snow or ice formations are visible above the meter; meter is located below a downspout; overhang or eave does not fully extend over the meter; meter is located below a roof valley without a gutter; meter is located below an exterior water spout.

If a natural gas leak is noticed, by smell, sound or sight, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same. Do not drive into or near a gas leak or vapor cloud. Do not use electric switches, telephones (including cell phones), or anything that could cause a spark. 

Once safely away from the area, call the CenterPoint Energy emergency gas leak hot line at (800) 296-9815 and 911 to report the location and description of the leak and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician immediately. 

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.