VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Natural Gas offers customers some tips to keep their families safe and to help save on their winter heating bill.
Customers are advised to be cautious when removing snow or ice from natural gas meter assembly. It’s recommended to use a hand or a broom to brush the snow away. Meters should never be kicked or hit.
Heavy snow and ice could weigh down power lines and tree limbs which would cause them to fall. If a natural gas meter is damaged or underground gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call 911 or Virginia Natural Gas’ 24-hour emergency response line 877-572-3342 from a safe location.
Virginia Natural Gas also offered these tips:
Detecting Gas Leaks
- If you smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present, immediately leave the affected area and call 911 or the 24-hour emergency response line 877-572-3342 from a safe location.
- Never try to identify the source of a leak yourself.
- If the odor of natural gas is present, do not use a telephone or cellphone in the area of the odor. Do not turn light switches on or off. Do not operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as lighting a match.
- Never use natural gas appliances, such as ovens or the burners on a stove, to heat your homes or businesses.
- Make sure your heating system, water heater and any other natural gas appliances are serviced and inspected annually by a qualified licensed professional.
- Do not use any defective natural gas appliance until it has been inspected, serviced and determined to be safe by a qualified plumber or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
- To ensure the safe, proper operation of natural gas appliances, such as a furnace or water heater, and to prevent the potentially hazardous buildup of carbon monoxide within your home or business, ensure that outdoor vent openings and air intakes are not obstructed by snow or ice.
- Seek medical attention immediately if anyone in your home or business experiences possible symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
For customers struggling to make ends meet, resources are available to help offset winter heating costs for eligible customers.
Virginia Natural Gas and its customers donate funds to the EnergyShare program, which is administered by the Salvation Army and offers assistance with energy costs. Call your local Salvation Army to make an appointment, please no walk-ins: South Hampton Roads 757-543-8100, Suffolk 757-539-5201, On the Peninsula 757-838-4875.
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