Friday, January 20, 2012 - 6:02am
Now that winter is really here, the City of Madison Fire Department and Madison Gas and Electric have some tips to help you stay safe when the snow piles up.
MGE, along with the MFD, reminds residents to keep the area around gas meter equipment clear of snow and ice. Heavy snow and ice from above that could fall on the meter should be removed to avoid potential equipment damage and a gas leak. The snow and ice near the meter should be carefully moved by hand to avoid equipment damage that could be caused by a shovel.
Furnace and water heater vent pipes that run outside the home need to be clear of snow and ice in order for the units to operate properly. Blocked pipes can shut down the furnace or water heater and lead to a carbon monoxide build up inside the home. Additionally, every home must have a working CO detector.
If you suspect a gas leak inside or outside your home, leave the area immediately and call MGE at 252-1111 day or night.
The Fire Department is also asking residents to pay special attention to snow around fire hydrants.
In order to prevent unneeded delays during a fire emergency, take the time to clear snow from around hydrants near your home - a minimum of 3 feet on each side to give firefighters the quickest and best access. The best time to do it is right after the snowfall, before snow gets packed down.
Please consider adopting a fire hydrant close to you, and keeping it clear of snow throughout the winter.
•When sweeping the snow from sidewalks in front of your home, take special care not to block the hydrant.
•If you notice a fire hydrant in your neighborhood is leaking or broken, please call the Madison Water Utility's 24-hour hotline at 266-4661.
- Lori Wirth, (608) 266-5947