Company Offers Safety Tips for Winter Weather
February 13, 2014 – As another nor’easter begins in New England Thursday morning, National Grid urges customers to watch out for their own wellbeing and the safety of utility crews working during the storm. Forecasts are calling for heavy, wet snowfall throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with significant accumulations inland and high winds with mixed precipitation in coastal areas, all of which could cause tree damage and the potential for power outages.
The company advises customers to be prepared for service interruptions. It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.
National Grid also reminds its natural gas customers to use caution when clearing snow to avoid covering or damaging natural gas lines, meters, regulators, and intake and exhaust vents to prevent carbon monoxide from building up. Customers should keep their gas meters clear of snow and should be careful not to drop heavy rooftop snow onto any outside meter. Customers should also use care when shoveling or plowing near outside gas lines, because damage to this equipment can result in a natural gas leak.
If you detect a natural gas leak, National Grid recommends that you evacuate the premises and call National Grid’s gas emergency number from a safe location: 1-800-233-5325 in Massachusetts and 1-800-640-1595 in Rhode Island.
National Grid offers the following tips for customers to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety throughout the nor’easter.
· National Grid customers who experience outages should call National Grid’s outage line at 1-800-465-1212 immediately to expedite restoration.
· Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
- If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of line crews and the public.
- Natural gas customers should closely inspect areas around and over gas meters, service hook-ups and vents for ice and snow that could damage equipment or build up to prevent carbon monoxide from properly venting.
- NEVER burn wood or coal in an indoor area without proper venting. Be sure space heaters and wood stoves are in good condition, have adequate ventilation and are used in strict compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Portable gas and charcoal grills intended for outside use should never be used indoors, or even inside an open garage.
- NEVER use your gas range to heat your apartment or house. Your range's oven and top burners are designed to cook your food, NOT to heat your home. Prolonged use can reduce oxygen levels in the home and contribute to unusually excessive levels of carbon monoxide.
- If you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and call 911. After calling 911, call the appropriate National Grid emergency contact number: 1-800-233-5325 in Massachusetts and 1-800-640-1595 in Rhode Island.
- People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
- Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.
National Grid provides a number of channels for customers to learn about service issues and interruptions during storms. Customers can receive text message alerts and updates by texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743) or follow the storm on their mobile devices by using the National Grid mobile app. The company provides real time outage information on its Outage Central web site at nationalgridus.com/OutageCentral. E-mail alerts are also available to customers who create an online profile on the company’s website, and National Grid provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com.