New York State Electric and Gas Corp., a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc., reminds customers to take measures to stay safe and warm when bitterly cold weather is forecast for the region.
NYSEG warns that the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards can increase during frigid weather. The company urges customers to take measures to stay safe during cold snaps.
Customers should keep exhaust vents, gas meters and regulators clear of snow and ice as they clean up after winter storms. Snow, ice and other debris can block exhaust vents for furnaces, water heaters and similar appliances, potentially causing toxic fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide to build up indoors.
Those unable to keep their homes safely and comfortably heated should call 211 for resources. Exposure to extreme cold can cause serious medical conditions, including hypothermia and frostbite. To avoid them, stay indoors if possible and wear warm clothing, including head coverings, gloves or mittens.
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Call NYSEG at (800) 572-1121 to report gas leaks, odors or damaged gas equipment. If anyone suspects a leak, leave the area or building and call from a safe place. Call 911 if there’s an immediate danger.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be located on every level of the home, outside all sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace the batteries at least twice a year.
Never use a stove or oven to stay warm. Only space heaters intended for indoor use should be operated indoors or in enclosed spaces, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Any generator that plugs into a home’s wiring should be connected via a transfer switch by a licensed electrician. This ensures that when the generator is in use, house wiring is isolated from utility lines. Improper installation can damage the generator, or create hazards for utility employees working on poles or the general public. If adding a natural gas-fired generator, consult the gas company to ensure there is adequate pressure. Generators should be placed outdoors and away from doors and windows to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide.
Only use space heaters that have been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never use a device designed for outdoor use indoors. Place the space heater on a level surface away from foot traffic, at least 3 feet from combustible materials. Inspect the cord for fraying, and periodically feel the cord near the outlet after plugging it in to make sure the plastic is not getting hot. Do not run the space heater cord under a rug or carpeting, and never use an extension cord for a space heater. Keep children and pets away, and turn off the space heater when leaving the area.
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Keep the furnace area clear of flammable materials and keep vents clear to provide a good air supply to heating systems to ensure proper combustion.
Water pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures may freeze and burst. Don’t ignore drips or odd noises from the heating system. Wrap exposed pipes in basements with pipe insulation to help them retain heat and avoid freezing.
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