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Bend FD called to natural gas incidents after snowfall

Urges residents to check, protect meters, pipes

BEND, Ore. - The Bend Fire Department said Friday it has responded to many incidents in recent weeks involving natural gas and its infrastructure, including meters and pipes.

Common causes of gas leaks during the winter are ice and snow falling during roof clearing operations onto meters; the lateral sheer force of snow piling up around meters and appliances; and snow plow operations, where buried meters are pushed over and lines are broken, officials said.

The department advised of some things that residents can do to safeguard their gas lines:

·         Know where your gas meter is

·         Protect the meter from falling ice and snow with a ½” sheet of plywood, set at an angle to deflect the force of the falling material

·         Keep meters and exposed lines clear of snow, so that lateral forces from accumulating weight do not place stresses on the equipment, removing snow with a broom rather than a shovel.

If you notice gas blowing from a pipe or appliance, call 9-1-1 and leave the area, taking care not to use electric switches or create sparks of any kind, officials said.

If you sense a heavier or persistent and increasing gas odor, call 9-1-1. The fire department will respond.

If you smell a light gas odor, call the Cascade Natural Gas Customer Service line at 888-522-1130. A representative will respond within two hours. Monitor the situation, and do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 if your level of concern rises.

If you use propane and smell gas, call 9-1-1 immediately and exit the area.

The natural gas safety reminder was a joint effort of the Bend Fire Department, Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District #2. Redmond Fire and Rescue, and Cascade Natural Gas.

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