With the arrival of the holiday season, UGI encourages all members of the community to remember the following energy-related safety tips:
· Practice good safety habits when using your oven and stove. If you use natural gas for cooking, be sure to keep loose clothing, dish towels and other flammable items away from the burners and hot stove surfaces. In addition, to allow for proper air flow and avoid accidental fires, keep your stove and the area around it clean and free from bags, wrappers, product caps, lids, and boxes. If you use a deep fryer for a fried turkey, make sure you read the instructions on preparing the turkey safely and use the deep fryer outside of the house. Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in or near your kitchen. Finally, use a meat thermometer to ensure food is thoroughly cooked.
· Remove flammable items from ignition sources. Make sure gifts, discarded bags, boxes, and wrapping paper are kept away from fireplaces, radiators and other heating sources. Turn off tree lights and lit decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Check lights for breaks or exposed wires and discard if damaged. If you have a live tree, make sure it has water every day.
· Keep an eye on extension cords. Make sure your extension cords don’t overheat. Touch the cord occasionally to measure its temperature. If it’s hot, it's likely overloaded and should be unplugged. Unplug extension cords when not in use.
· Protect your family, friends, and co-workers from carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colorless and odorless gas that can build up inside a home or business due to malfunctioning heating units or other fuel-burning appliances, as well as by blocked chimneys and exhaust vents. While CO is odorless, a smoky or sooty smell is often generated by the malfunctioning appliance or blocked chimney. Signs that an appliance may be producing CO include condensation on walls and windows, house pets becoming sluggish, and residents suffering flu-like symptoms or feeling unusually tired. Individuals who believe they may be experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning should immediately seek fresh air and prompt medical attention. UGI recommends that all homes have working CO detectors on every floor, especially near heating equipment and bedrooms.
· Keep the gas behind glass. Do not use your gas fireplace if it is designed to use a glass panel and the panel is removed, cracked, or broken. Only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.
· Be careful with candles. Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are three of the most common days for home fires. To avoid a disaster, keep candles at least a foot away from anything flammable. Make sure candles are in stable holders that can’t be easily knocked down, and never leave burning candles unattended.
· Use extra caution when using space heaters. Always place a space heater on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable (such as paper, clothing, bedding curtains, or upholstered furniture) at least three feet away from the unit. Turn off space heaters before leaving the room.
· Keep a well-stocked first aid kit nearby. Keep first-aid essentials on hand to tackle anything from cooking burns and minor cuts to winter bugs.
· Pack it away. When the holidays are over, pack up your Christmas lights in well-sealed containers. This will prevent potential water damage and also deter animals from chewing on the cords.
· Call UGI or 911 if you detect the odor of gas. An odorant that smells like rotten eggs is added to natural gas to assist in detecting a gas leak. If you smell the odor of natural gas, leave the building immediately, taking everyone with you and leaving the door open. Do not use the phone, light a match, or switch anything on or off. Go to a location where the odor of gas is no longer present and call 911 or UGI from your cell phone or neighbor’s home. UGI’s emergency response number is 1-800-276-2722. UGI will send a service technician to investigate the odor immediately. Emergency response is available 24-hours a day, every day. There is no cost to investigate a report of a gas leak.
Additional safety tips are available on UGI’s website at www.ugi.com/safety.
UGI Utilities is a natural gas and electric utility with headquarters in Denver, Pennsylvania. UGI serves more than 730,000 customers in 45 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland. Customers and community members are invited to visit the UGI website at www.ugi.com; our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ugiutilities; or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ugi_utilities.