Advisory: Carbon monoxide safety guidelines
January 6, 2014
NAPERVILLE, Jan. 6, 2014 – As the Chicagoland area is dealing with record-low temperatures, Nicor Gas is providing information that can help keep homes and businesses safe.
Below are recommended winter heating safety guidelines:
- Residents should make sure their heating system, water heater and any other natural gas appliances are serviced and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
- Nicor Gas customers are advised not to use any defective natural gas appliance until it has been inspected, serviced and determined to be safe by a qualified plumber or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional.
- Customers should never use natural gas appliances, such as the burners on a stove or ovens to heat their homes or businesses.
- If customers smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas, they should leave the area immediately and call the Nicor Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 888.Nicor4U (888.642.6748) from a safe location.
- To ensure the safe, proper operation of natural gas appliances, such as a furnace and water heater, and to prevent a potentially hazardous buildup of carbon monoxide within your home, ensure that outdoor vent openings and air intakes are not obstructed by snow or ice.
- Illinois law requires carbon monoxide alarms in homes and apartments.
- If customers suspect carbon monoxide is present in their home or business, they should immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1 from a safe location.
- Residents are encouraged to immediately seek medical attention if anyone in their home or business experiences possible symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, including:
- Exercise caution removing snow or ice from your natural gas meter. Use your hands or a broom, not a shovel, to brush away snow or ice from your meter and regulator. Never kick or hit your gas meter or its piping with a hammer or any hard object to break away built-up snow or ice.
- Open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- Keep furniture, drapes, stuffed animals and other objects from blocking your heating sources.
- Caulk and weather-strip drafty doors and windows. Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
- Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors and ceilings. Install insulated gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on exterior walls to prevent drafts.
About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), is a natural gas distribution company that serves more than 2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services, midstream operations and cargo shipping. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves approximately 630,000 retail energy customers and approximately 1.2 million customer service contracts through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management, ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities, and ownership of Tropical Shipping, one of the largest containerized cargo carriers serving the Bahamas and Caribbean region. AGL Resources is a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.