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Winter home safety tips from SaskEnergy

The provincial energy regulator is sharing its top natural gas safety tips to keep everyone safe over winter.

SaskEnergy notes with the cold weather and the snow covered roof, residents have had to listen to the rumble of the furnace.

Safety tip 1: Keep exterior appliance vents free of frost, ice and snow

Snow or ice blockages on the home’s exterior appliance vents can cause equipment malfunction. A greater danger is it can lead to the build up of carbon monoxide. SaskEnergy says any appliance that burns fuel can cause carbon monoxide to build up. This includes furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters and gas stoves.

Safety tip 2: Keep natural gas meter free of snow and ice, including the meter’s regulator and shut-off valve

Dripping eavestroughs or melting snow from the roof can cause the gas meter to ice up. Use a soft-bristle brush or broom or gently remove the snow by hand.

Never use a shovel or other tool to chip or scrape ice or snow off the meter. Never hit or kick the meter to break up any ice. Don’t use hot water or chemical de-icers as these can also damage the meter.

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Avoid using a snowblower or snowplow near the gas meter and don’t shovel or pile snow around it.

SaskEnergy adds that keeping snow and ice off and away from the natural gas meter, regulator and shut-off valve will help ensure this equipment continues to operate when needed most.

Safety tip 3: Annual furnace inspection

Yearly maintenance can help keep furnaces running safely and at peak efficiency.

SaskEnergy Network Members offer a Home Heating Tune-Up which includes inspecting the furnace’s chimney, heat exchanger, blower compartment and fan, gas pilot and drive systems and high-limit controls. The furnace’s motor and fan will also be cleaned and lubricated, and the burners will be cleaned and reset.

As an added safety incentive, customers who book their annual furnace maintenance service with a participating SaskEnergy Network Member will receive a free carbon monoxide alarm at the time of their appointment. This service is listed as being available to qualifying residents in the Paradise Hill area.

More safety information can be found on the SaskEnergy website.

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