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The West Fargo Fire Department reminds residents to check gas meters and vents for ice and snow buildup following the recent winter weather. Heavy or hard-packed snow and ice on meters or external exhaust vents can present a safety hazard.
Gas meters have a vent to regulate pressure. Ice accumulations and snow drifts can block gas meter vents, furnace vents and air intakes in homes. All vents and air intakes must be regularly checked to be cleared of snow and ice buildup. If obstructed, it could lead to a service interruption, gas leak or appliance operation issues. Blocked vents can also cause carbon monoxide to build up inside a residence.
“Carefully remove ice and snow from gas meters and vents using a broom, your hands or a soft brushed tool,” said West Fargo Fire Marshal Dell Sprecher. “After any winter weather, it is important to inspect all meters and vents to ensure they remain clear of both snow and ice.”
It is recommended to keep a three-foot area clear around all vent and intake tubes. Do not 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 significant 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.