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Virginia Natural Gas offers natural gas safety tips in advance of severe winter weather

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Jan. 20, 2016 – With a severe winter storm in the forecast for some parts of its service territory, Virginia Natural Gas wants to remind customers of important outdoor natural gas meter and appliance venting safety tips to ensure public safety and the continuity of service.

Below are recommended guidelines associated with natural gas:

Appliance Safety

  • Customers should never use natural gas appliances, such as ovens or the burners on a stove, to heat their homes or businesses.
  • Residents should make sure their heating system, water heater and any other natural gas appliances are serviced and inspected annually by a qualified licensed professional.
  • .Virginia Natural Gas customers are advised not to use any defective natural gas appliance until it has been inspected, serviced and determined to be safe by a qualified plumber or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • To ensure the safe, proper operation of natural gas appliances, such as a furnace and water heater, and to prevent a potentially hazardous buildup of carbon monoxide within your home or business, ensure that outdoor vent openings and air intakes are not obstructed by snow or ice.
  • If customers smell natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in their home or business, they should immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1 or 877.572.3342 from a safe location.
  • Residents are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately if anyone in their home or business experiences possible symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

Meter Safety

  • Customers are encouraged to know where to locate their natural gas meter is located.
  • Exercise caution removing snow or ice from your natural gas meter assembly. Use your hands or a broom, not a shovel, to brush away snow or ice from your meter and regulator. Never kick or hit your gas meter or its piping with a hammer or any hard object to break away built-up snow or ice.
  • 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 the meter if it is hidden.
  • If a natural gas meter is damaged or underground gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call the Virginia Natural Gas 24-hour emergency response number at 877.572.3342.

Detecting Gas Leaks

  • If customers smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present, they should immediately leave the affected area and call the 24-hour emergency response line at 877.572.3342 from a safe location.
  • Residents should never try to identify the source of a leak themselves.
  • If the odor of natural gas is present, 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 lighting a match.

Damage Prevention

  • Heavy snow and ice may weigh down power lines and tree limbs, causing them to fall. If a natural gas meter is damaged or underground gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call the 24-hour emergency response line, at 877.572.3342 from a safe location.

For more information and weather-relatedupdates, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @VaNaturalGas.

About Virginia Natural Gas

Virginia Natural Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), provides retail natural gas sales and distribution services to 287,000 customers in southeast Virginia.  For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com.

About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves more than one million retail customers through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. AGL Resources is a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.

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Media Contact
Duane Bourne
Office: 757.955.0363
dbourne@aglresources.com