(NEWARK, NJ – Jan. 7, 2015) – With frigid weather gripping the region, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is monitoring its gas system and taking steps to ensure it can meet the demands of customers. These steps include maintaining and adjusting pressure at various points in our system.
The utility also has extra personnel on hand to respond as quickly as possible and handle emergency requests. Both PSE&G’s appliance service business and call centers are prepared to respond to an influx of customer “no heat” calls as temperatures remain extremely low during the next few days.
“Since Tuesday, we have received about 2,500 ‘no heat’ calls from customers,” said Mike Schmid, director-appliance service. “We have all available technicians on hand to respond to these service requests as quickly as possible. Customers also should be aware that although their heating systems may be working properly, the frigid temperatures are making it difficult to maintain the same thermostat setting.”
PSE&G offers the following tips to stay warm and safe during this current cold snap:
- Seal up openings around and under doors and windows
- Close and latch your windows
- Lower thermostats serving unused rooms
- Close dampers in unused fireplaces
- Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators, and baseboard element covers
- Remove or cover window air conditioners to reduce drafts. Install insulated or lined drapes on your windows
- Open your curtains and blinds that face the sun on sunny days to warm your home, and close them at night to keep the warm air inside
- Keep your garage door closed, if the garage is attached to the house
- Check for sufficient water levels in the sight glass for steam heating systems to ensure maximum efficiency
- Clean or replace the furnace filter on hot air heating systems
FOR SAFETY’S SAKE
- Be cautious when using space heaters. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and heed warning labels. Be sure all members of the household understand how to operate space heaters safely.
- Don’t try to use a gas oven or range to heat a room - the appliance will deplete oxygen from the air, causing asphyxiation or deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) -- an invisible, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating gas -- is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the United States. Natural gas, oil, propane, coal or wood all produce CO.
- The first line of defense against CO poisoning is to make sure all your fuel-burning appliances operate and are maintained properly. These appliances include gas and oil furnaces, water heaters, gas ranges, space heaters, and gas clothes dryers. Improperly vented fireplaces and charcoal grills can also give off CO.
- Invest in carbon monoxide detectors as back-up protection, not as a substitute for proper use and maintenance of the fuel-burning appliances. CO alarms can provide an early warning to consumers before CO builds up to a dangerous level. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends placing a carbon monoxide alarm in every area of the house. If just one alarm is installed, it should be placed near the sleeping rooms of the house. If you already have one, remember to check the batteries regularly.
- Be safe around natural gas. If you smell a weak gas odor, check the pilot lights and burner valves on your gas appliances. Open doors and windows to let in fresh air. Call PSE&G immediately. If the odor is strong, get out of the building immediately and call PSE&G from a nearby phone. Do not use the phone in the building or any electrical equipment, including electric switches and thermostats, because they can make sparks and cause a fire. Do not use matches, or light a gas appliance. If you are outdoors and smell gas, call PSE&G immediately at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734).
KEEP YOUR GAS METER AND APPLIANCE VENTS CLEAR OF SNOW AND ICE
You can help keep your natural gas supply flowing by keeping your meter free of snow and ice. If you are a natural gas customer whose gas meter is on the outside of your home or business, please take the following precautions:
- Clear snowdrifts away from the meter and piping.
- Do not pile snow on top of the gas meter or around its connecting piping when you are shoveling your premises.
- Brush snow from the meter and piping before a thick layer of ice builds up.
- Clear snow from dryer vents to prevent fumes from backing up into your house.
IF YOUR METER IS SCHEDULED TO BE READ
While we always try to obtain an actual reading, occasionally it’s necessary to estimate a reading to ensure the safety of our employees. Ways that you can help us keep our employees safe and avoid estimated bills:
- Ensure walkways and entrance ways are cleared of snow and ice.
- Ensure a clear pathway to the meter.
- Secure pets while meters are being read.
- Utilize our Record-a-Reading option or enter your reading on-line via the PSE&G website on www.pseg.com.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).