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Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Offers Winter Safety Tips

WESTBOROUGH — Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is reminding customers of important safety tips during cold, snowy, and icy conditions this winter season.
 To be safe and avoid hazards, customers should:

• Keep natural-gas meters clear of snow and ice to ensure they are visible and pathways are accessible at all times should you require maintenance by Columbia Gas employees.

• Keep natural-gas meters clear to ensure proper venting.

• Remove snow from the meter with hands or a broom. Never use a shovel or kick or hit the meter to break away the snow and ice. If the meter is encased in ice, contact Columbia Gas for assistance at (800) 677-5052.

• Keep fresh-air and exhaust vents for natural-gas appliances free of snow, ice, and debris to prevent equipment malfunction and the presence of carbon monoxide.

• Use care when removing snow and ice from your rooftop, and do not cover or bury the natural gas meter when doing so.

• Use caution when removing snow from flat rooftops, especially in commercial and industrial buildings, to prevent damage. There may be heating and cooling equipment and electric or fuel lines that may not be visible under the snow.

• Make sure all appliances and heating equipment are inspected annually by a licensed professional and are operating properly.

• Never use stoves, ovens, or outdoor grills as a source of heat.

• Check your carbon-monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to ensure they operate properly.

• If you smell natural gas, leave the area and call 911 from a safe location.

“The safety and comfort of our customers is the number-one priority at Columbia Gas, especially during the cold winter months,” said President Steve Bryant. “We ask that everyone take the time to check on their families and neighbors, particularly those who are elderly or in need of special attention.”

For more winter safety tips and information, visit www.columbiagasma.com.

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