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November 5, 2013

Contact: Cynthia Messina, (702) 365-2044

Cold Weather Safety and Energy Saving Tips from Southwest Gas
Protect natural gas meters and outdoor appliances from snow and ice and learn helpful ways to save money and energy

Carson City, Nev. - With the arrival of the colder weather, Southwest Gas reminds its customers of safety tips for natural gas appliances and meters, along with helpful ways to save energy and money.

Especially in areas where the potential for snow and ice accumulations exist, the company encourages the installation of structurally engineered shelters to protect natural gas meters from the elements. "At Southwest Gas, we're dedicated to the safety of our customers and to the efficient use of natural gas," said Yvonne Low, the company's manager of Customer Engagement. "We encourage our customers to check out the useful tips we provide in our monthly bill inserts and visit us online for information about natural gas efficiency and safety."

The following are some recommended tips:

  • Install a structurally engineered shelter above the natural gas meter to protect it from snow and ice accumulation. Contact a Southwest Gas Energy Specialists at 1-800-654-2765 or click on the company's website for resources on how to build a shelter or for a contractor referral.
  • Use a broom, instead of a shovel, when and where possible to clear snow and ice from natural gas meters and outdoor appliances, including regulators, associated piping and propane appliances.
  • Snow and ice falling from roofs can cause damage that could result in a gas leak, injury or damage, so make sure meters and outdoor appliances are kept clear. This includes keeping them clear when shoveling or plowing as well.
  • Have the furnace inspected by a licensed heating contractor to help ensure its safe and efficient operation. Regularly change the furnace's filters to help improve airflow and efficiency.
  • Cut annual heating bills by as much as 10 percent per year by turning back the thermostat 10 percent to 15 percent for eight hours per day.
  • Natural gas appliances require proper exhaust and ventilation. Therefore, it's important to know the location of the air supply and exhaust ducts, and to keep them free of snow, ice, leaves, or other debris.
  • Keeping vents clear can prevent operational problems for appliances and the accumulation of carbon monoxide in buildings. California residences should have functioning carbon monoxide alarms as required by Health and Safety Code 17926.

Southwest Gas reminds anyone who suspects the release of natural gas to leave the area immediately, and from a safe place call 911 and the company at 1-800-772-4555. Indicators of a natural gas leak are the smell of rotten eggs, even if it is slight or momentary, and/or a hissing noise coming from the ground or an above-ground pipeline. If a leak is suspected, avoid doing anything that could create a spark, such as lighting a match or turning an electrical appliance switch off or on.

For additional cold weather safety information and energy saving tips from Southwest Gas, visit

Southwest Gas provides natural gas service to nearly 1.9 million customers in parts of Arizona, California and Nevada.

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