National Grid offers safety advice on natural gas leaks, carbon monoxide


Walking and driving in slippery conditions and protecting yourself from the elements are part of everyday life during New York winters and knowing what to do if a natural gas leak is suspected and how to avoid exposure to carbon monoxide is equally critical. .

National Grid offers customers the following safety reminders:

Natural gas leaks

Natural gas is completely safe when used correctly. National Grid continually tests, repairs and improves its underground natural gas distribution system, but the possibility exists for a gas leak in or near your home.

When extracted from the ground, natural gas is odorless. National Grid adds a harmless substance called mercaptan to its gas supply, which creates a pungent odor similar to rotten eggs and alerts people to its
presence.

Natural gas leaks are potentially dangerous, and those who smell gas or suspect a leak should immediately evacuate themselves, their loved ones and pets and call the National Grid gas emergency number from a safe location.

Never call from inside an area where gas is suspected to be leaking. Dial 1-800-892-2345 or 911 and National Grid technicians will answer, the company announcement added.

Also, do not touch any electrical or light switches, appliances, thermostats, doorbells, telephones or anything that could cause a spark. Do not turn on or off any electrical equipment. Do not insert or remove plugs from outlets. Do not smoke or light matches. Do not reenter the house until National Grid has cleaned the area.

Safety and prevention of carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that can be fatal if not detected. It is produced when fuels such as natural gas, propane, fuel oil, wood and wood pellets, kerosene, gasoline and charcoal do not burn completely.

Potential sources of carbon monoxide in the home include forced air heaters, kerosene heaters, natural gas stoves, wood stoves, water heaters, fireplaces and motor vehicles.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, weakness, confusion, blurred vision, shortness of breath or chest tightness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, and drowsiness or loss of consciousness.

Prolonged exposure and the amount of carbon monoxide in the air can intensify the symptoms experienced by an individual. Customers suspecting its presence in their accommodation should:

Leave the premises immediately. Call 911 and report a carbon monoxide emergency to first responders. Contact the National Grid gas emergency line at 1-800-892-2345.

National Grid responds immediately to all suspected carbon monoxide emergencies in its service area, even if the customer purchases natural gas from another supplier. Do not enter the house until first responders or National Grid find the source and clear the area.

A carbon monoxide detector should be installed on every level of a house. National Grid recommends installing household carbon monoxide detectors approved by the Underwriters Laboratory, available at home improvement stores and discount stores. The batteries should be changed every year to ensure proper operation and the end of daylight saving time is a good reminder to check these devices.

National Grid also offers these additional safety tips to help identify and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

• Annual maintenance of home heating sources is an important step in preventing carbon monoxide-related illnesses.

Licensed contractors check heating sources to make sure they burn fuel safely and efficiently while ventilating properly.

• Check chimneys or flues for debris, bird nests or other blockages.

• Make sure radiators and wood stoves are in good working order, well ventilated, and used according to manufacturer’s instructions.

• Operate gas ovens and / or ranges safely. Never use an oven for heating. Pay attention to children and their distance from the oven when in use.

Inspect the oven for pungent odors or soot on its surface, as this may indicate poor combustion and the generation of carbon monoxide.

• Coal or charcoal should never be burned in an enclosed space and should always be vented to the outdoors.

• Emergency generators must be operated outdoors. Place the generator on a flat, fireproof surface at least six feet from the house and route the cords inside when in use.

• Do not heat an automobile while it is parked in a garage, whether the garage door is open or not. Carbon monoxide produced by a motor vehicle in a confined space can reach deadly levels and easily spread inside the home.

For more information on carbon monoxide prevention, visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Division.


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