Dec 7, 2010: With the recent heavy snowfall in the region and a mix of snow, ice and rain in the forecast, keeping electric and natural gas meters and appliance vents clear of snow and ice is a crucial step for winter safety. This will help prevent damage to the meters and ensure the proper and safe operation of appliances, such as furnaces, water heaters, natural gas fireplaces and clothes dryers.
Avista urges residents to safely take care of themselves and their property when clearing snow by:
· Gently clearing snow and ice from meters to prevent damage. While outdoor electric and natural gas meters are designed to withstand harsh winter conditions, falling ice or snow or excessive snow weight can damage meters and cause problems for homeowners.
· Not kicking or hitting a natural gas meter or its piping to break away built-up snow or ice which can damage the meter.
· Being alert to the location of a gas meter when clearing snow from a driveway.
· Being careful not to drop snow or ice onto meters when clearing the roof. Once the roof is clear, make sure meters are free of snow and accessible.
· Clearing snow from exterior vents located near ground level. Snow accumulation could interfere with the safe operation of vented appliances that send exhaust, like carbon monoxide, outside. All vented appliances need an uninterrupted supply of fresh air and a clear exhaust path to work properly and safely. Blowing and drifting snow or snow sliding off a roof could block these intake and exhaust vents, forcing appliances to automatically shut down and possibly causing serious damage and/or health risks.
· Being alert to power lines. Coming into direct contact or using equipment like shovels or rakes that come in contact with a power line can result in serious injury or death.
· Calling Avista at (800) 227-9187 for assistance if a meter is covered with solid ice - don’t attempt to remove it yourself.
A clear meter also provides easier, safer access for maintenance and emergency responders, as well as an accurate meter reading.
Avista suggests that you check on your elderly or infirm neighbors to make sure their electric and natural gas meters and appliance vents are free of snow and ice accumulation.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 357,000 customers and natural gas to 316,000 customers. Our service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Avista's primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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