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The West Fargo Fire Department reminds residents to check gas meters and vents following the recent winter weather. Heavy or hard-packed snow and ice on the meter or external exhaust vents can present a significant safety hazard.
Gas meters have a vent to regulate pressure. High snow drifts can block gas meter vents, furnace vents and air intakes in some homes. These vents and air intakes must be regularly checked to be cleared of snow and ice. If obstructed it could lead to a service interruption or gas leak. Blocked vents can also lead to carbon monoxide buildup and operational issues with appliances.
“We recommend keeping a three-foot area clear around all vent and intake tubes,” said West Fargo Fire Marshal Dell Sprecher. “After any snowfall, it is important to inspect all meters and vents to ensure they are clear of both snow and ice.”
To clear your gas meters and vents use a broom, your hands, or a soft brushed tool to remove the snow. Don’t use a shovel or hammer to hit the equipment to break up snow or ice. Chimneys and vents for gas appliances must also be cleared following a major snow or ice storm to ensure proper venting.
If you smell a gas odor or if a carbon monoxide alarm sounds, immediately evacuate to a safe location and call 911.