Chesterton Tribune



Cold weather safety tips from NIPSCO

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As Indiana experiences the latest blast of frigid temperatures, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company reminds customers of important safety tips during snowy and icy conditions.

NIPSCO crews across the region will be working to ensure safe, reliable natural gas and electric service, and the company is prepared to respond to emergencies and calls throughout this event.

While NIPSCO’s gas and electric system continue to operate normally, customers should call (800) 4NIPSCO (464-7726) if they experience any service-related issues or emergencies.

NIPSCO offered the following safety tips:

* Keep fresh air and exhaust vents for natural gas appliances clear. Remove snow, ice, and debris to prevent equipment malfunction,

* Keep natural gas meters clear of snow and ice. Keep them visible at all times to ensure proper venting and easy access, if necessary, for NIPSCO and emergency responders.

* Remove snow from the meter with hands or a broom. Never use a shovel or kick or hit the meter to break away snow or ice. If the meter is encased in ice, contact NIPSCO for assistance.

* Drive safely during icy conditions. If your car hits an electric utility pole and the power line comes down, stay inside your vehicle, unless in immediate danger, such as a fire, and contact 911. If you must exit the car, jump clear without touching metal (the car) and the ground at the same time.

* Call NIPSCO immediately if you detect natural gas. As always, if customers smell natural gas (typically a “rotten egg” smell) at any time, they should leave the area and call NIPSCO at (800) 464-7726.

* Use caution when driving near NIPSCO employees. Motorists are urged to drive safely when approaching any NIPSCO field employee or contractor vehicles who may be working in the area.

With the extreme cold, should a home utilize an alternate heating source, such as a fireplace or space heater, NIPSCO reminds residents to be safe with these tips:

* Keep flammable items, including paper, bedding, or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment, fireplaces, and stoves.

* Place portable space heaters on a hard, level, nonflammable surface. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away.

* Look for a model that shuts off automatically if the space heater tips over. Do not use heating equipment to dry wet clothing.

* Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.

* Never leave portable heaters, wood burning stoves, or fireplaces unattended. Turn them off before leaving or going to bed.

* Keep the fire in the fireplace by using a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

For information about electric and natural gas safety, visit



Posted 1/27/2014