With cold and wintry weather continuing to affect the state, Berkshire Gas Company is asking customers to be on the lookout for safety issues. 

As part pf a press release Tuesday, the subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. Is reminding customers to make sure their homes are equipped with fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and to be watchful for signs of natural gas leaks and report them immediately. Berkshire Gas also asks customers to maintain a clear path to the gas meter in case gas company personnel need to access it, and to keep the meter and regulator free of snow, ice and debris. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you aim for safety during the winter months: 

Gas Meters and Regulators 

When clearing driveways and sidewalks, avoid piling snow on gas meters and regulators, and keep them free of snow and ice. Use a broom, brush or another soft tool to remove snow from these items in order to avoid damage. If a gas meter becomes fully encased in ice, or if it begins to make an unusual noise, call Berkshire Gas at 800-292-5012. Maintain a clear path through snow and ice to the natural gas meter on the property so that gas company personnel can safely access it. 

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Natural Gas Leaks – Learn the Signs 

Natural gas leaks can be recognized by smell, sight or sound. 

  • Smell: Natural gas is colorless and odorless. For safety, a distinctive sulfur-like odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added so customers can recognize it quickly. If customers smell natural gas, they should immediately get up, get out and call for help from a safe location. 
  • Sight: A white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust can also be warning signs of a gas leak. Customers may also notice vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason. 
  • Sound: Customers may also hear unusual noise like roaring, hissing or whistling. 

Report a Leak 

Customers who suspect a natural gas leak should get up, get out and get away, then immediately call Berkshire Gas or 911 from a safe location. 

  • Do not smoke or operate electrical switches or appliances, which could produce a spark and ignite the natural gas. 
  • Do not assume someone else will report the condition. 
  • When reporting, provide the exact location, including cross streets. 

Carbon Monoxide Safety 

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is a byproduct of fuel combustion. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms and can be fatal. 

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home and in a central location outside each sleeping area. 
  • Make sure the outdoor vents for any gas-fired appliance, such as your furnace, hot water heater, dryer, or gas fireplace, are clear of snow and debris. 
  • Have your heating system inspected and maintained on a regular schedule, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Report Emergencies 

To report a natural gas emergency, contact Berkshire Gas at 800.292.5012. 

Customers may also view these tip with friends and family via this video provided by the Northeast Gas Association (ParkerWrightLLC YouTube):

 

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