British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

January 10, 2011 09:00 ET

BC Safety Authority: Stay Safe, Keep Your Gas Meter Clear of Snow and Ice

NEW WESTMINSTER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 10, 2011) - BC homes have been destroyed by fires started from leaking gas meters. Due to heavier snowfalls this winter, the BC Safety Authority (BCSA) reminds homeowners to take extra care of their gas meters.

"Your gas meter, which measures the amount of gas that you use, is an important part of your gas system," says Wayne Lock, Gas Safety Manager with the BC Safety Authority. "Snow and ice on a meter can damage its fittings and pipes causing leaks. A gas meter covered in snow or ice can also impede its function of controlling the gas pressure, which could lead to serious risks."

Here are a few tips on how to properly care for your gas meter in the winter:

  • Be familiar with your meter, its shut-off valve, and piping.
  • Keep your meter accessible: never bury it or enclose it in a building or a deck.
  • Never lean anything on your meter. Never tie anything that might tug on it, like a clothesline.
  • Be extra careful when removing snow from around the house. Don't use a snowplow or blower near the meter.
  • Carefully remove any snow build-up on your meter with your hands. Don't kick or strike any ice off your meter.
  • When removing snow from rooftops or when shoveling, take care not to cover the meter with ice and snow.
  • Have the phone numbers of your gas supplier ready in case of emergencies.

"Check your gas meter after each snowfall," says Lock. "Call your gas supplier immediately if your gas meter becomes encased in ice."

Natural and propane gas leaks emit an unpleasant odour like rotten eggs or sulphur. That way, if there's ever a gas leak in your vicinity, you'll easily smell it and know what it is. If you smell gas or hear the flow of escaping gas, follow these steps immediately:

  • Don't smoke, light matches, operate electrical switches, use a cell phone or telephone, or create any other source of ignition.
  • Leave the building immediately, leaving the door open and any windows that may already be open.
  • When you are at a safe distance, call your gas supplier or 911 immediately.

For more gas safety information to share with your family and friends go to:

The British Columbia Safety Authority keeps people safe by mandating the safe installation and use of technical equipment. BCSA also issues permits and licences, educates, and conducts on-site inspections in high-risk situations.

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