Severe Weather & Winter Safety Tips

Before the Storm

• Customers are encouraged to know the location of their natural gas meter.
• Zia Natural Gas Company advises customers to leave their gas meter on to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within their homes or businesses and to prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur. Most
gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
• Your natural gas service should operate uninterrupted throughout the storm. Only Zia Natural Gas Company or emergency personnel should turn the valve off.
• Customers are urged to report a natural gas emergency to the Zia Natural Gas Company 24-hour emergency response line at 1-800-520-4277 or your local offices. The damage assessment and restoration process begins once
the storm has passed, and it’s safe for our crews to proceed with gathering information and determining the extent of the service needs in the affected areas.

During/Immediately After the storm

• Natural gas is injected with a distinct odor, which many people equate to that of rotten eggs. If the odor of gas is present when you return to your home, immediately leave the affected area and call our 24-hour emergency response line, at 1-800-520-4277 from a safe location. Residents should never try to identify the source of a leak themselves.
• If you smell gas, do not use a telephone or cellular phone, turn light switches on or off, operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as a lighting a match or turning on a flashlight.
• If flooding occurs at a residence or business and the gas appliances are or have been submerged under water, do not try to operate the appliances.
• During clean up and repair after a storm avoid causing damage to the gas lines by calling 811 before digging. This also pertains to removing downed trees as they can become entangled with natural gas lines.

Following a weather emergency, ensure the gas meter is visible, and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used after the storm to clean up a location may damage an unseen meter. If a natural gas meter is damaged or gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call our 24-hour emergency response number at 1-800-520-4277.

Winter Weather

Although outdoor natural gas meters are designed to withstand winter weather, those packed in snow or ice could experience a temporary interruption of service.

To help avoid these types of problems, customers are advised to take the following steps:
• Keep your natural gas meter clear of ice and snow
• Remove the snow or ice with your hands or use a broom to brush snow away
• Never kick or hit your natural gas meter or its piping with a hammer or other hard object to break away built up snow or ice
• Make sure your natural gas meter is visible at all times and accessible for maintenance and emergency responders
• Keep natural gas vents clear, unobstructed and free of debris. Some direct-vent and high-efficiency appliances have direct side wall outdoor vents and air intakes that could become obstructed during heavy snowfall

Customers should call the Zia Natural Gas Company’s emergency/leak line number – 1-800-520-4277 or your local office - if they smell natural gas or believe they have a natural gas leak.

In the event a home loses power, customers are advised to use alternate heating sources sparingly and safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless non-corrosive gas created whenever combustion takes place without sufficient oxygen.