Steamboat Springs residents should mind snow on gas meters, city says

City officials urge residents to monitor snow buildup on their gas meters this winter. The meters have a vent that regulates pressure, but it has to be unobstructed to work properly.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy photo

Steamboat Springs fire officials urge residents to pay attention to snow buildup on their natural gas or propane meters this winter. 

In order for vents on gas meters to work and regulate pressure, they have to be clear and unobstructed. Snow piling up on the regulator could prevent it from venting correctly. 

“Snow and ice accumulation on or near the gas meter or on the roof above a meter can lead to potentially dangerous conditions,” Fire Marshal Doug Shaffer said in a news release. “Some of our more significant calls have been in response to ice or snow falling on a gas or propane meter and the resulting leak or fire.”

Officials encourage residents to consider protecting meters if it is in the path of falling ice/snow. Icicles, roof slides and ice damns should be eliminated from affecting meters.

Natural gas in its original form has no smell or color. That’s why a ‘rotten egg’ or skunk-like odor is added to make people aware if gas is leaking. If there’s a rotten egg smell present, officials direct residents to leave the area immediately and tell others to leave, too. In the news release, Atmos Energy provided the following tips for gas leaks:

  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Call 911 and your gas provider emergency number.
  • Do not turn on or off any electric switch; this could cause a spark, igniting the gas.
  • Do not use a cell phone, telephone or garage door opener, doorbell or even a flashlight.
  • Do not smoke, use a lighter or strike a match.
  • Do not start or stop a nearby vehicle or machinery.
  • Do not try to shut off a natural gas value.

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