Make Sure Natural Gas and Electric Meters are Clear of Snow and Ice
For more information, contact:
Tina Potthoff, Media Relations Manager, at 515-281-2585
Tim Grabinski, Director, Communication Planning, at 515-281-2343
DES MOINES, Iowa – (Feb. 23, 2012) – With more winter weather in the forecast, MidAmerican Energy Company wants customers to be reminded of winter weather safety tips.
If customers see a downed line, assume it is an energized electric line and do not touch it. Touching an energized power line can cause serious injury. Call MidAmerican Energy immediately at 800-799-4443.
Customers should remember that accumulations of snow and ice can interrupt a home’s or business’ natural gas supply and create unsafe operating conditions. The following precautions can keep your gas supply uninterrupted and operating safely.
- Avoid plowing or piling snow against meters or gas regulators.
- Use a broom rather than a shovel to clear snow from meters or gas regulators.
- If a meter or gas regulator becomes encased in ice, do not try to melt or chip the ice. Call MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632 for service.
- In a safe manner from the ground, carefully remove icicles from the section of roof or gutter that overhangs the meter. Water that drips on meters or gas regulators can freeze and cover the equipment with ice.
- For customers whose meters have not been upgraded to automated meter reading, clear a path to the meter. A clear path to the meter will help MidAmerican Energy meter readers stay safe and prevent estimated reads and inaccurate bills.
MidAmerican Energy offers the following safety tips in the event of a power outage:
- If you lose power to your home or business during a storm, check fuses or circuit breakers first, then call MidAmerican Energy at 800-799-4443.
- Never assume someone else has reported a power outage. If you lose power during a storm, call MidAmerican Energy. This information helps the company’s electric outage management system pinpoint the source of an outage and speeds the restoration process.
- Keep fresh batteries in flashlights and lanterns for use during emergencies, and have extra batteries on hand.
- Never use a grill, space heater or portable generator intended for outside use inside a home. Similarly, never attempt to heat a home with a gas range. All can emit deadly carbon monoxide.
- Always use caution and common sense when using candles and oil lamps for light. Never leave candles burning when you go to bed. Keep them away from drapes and other materials that could catch fire. Avoid placing candles on low tables where pets or children could knock them off.
- If you have a standby generator, make sure it is installed safely and properly. If it is not, you risk damaging your property and endangering yourself and MidAmerican Energy line workers who may be working on power lines some distance from your home.
Additional information about the causes of power outages, preparing for a storm, and how MidAmerican Energy restores power is available by selecting the Winter Weather Center tab on MidAmerican Energy’s website at www.midamericanenergy.com. During the weather event, the company also will post safety messages on its Twitter and Facebook pages, which can be accessed from the home page of MidAmerican Energy’s website.