Simple tips to keep your home safe and warm this winter
SURREY, BC, Nov. 17, 2011 /CNW/ - With colder weather here, FortisBC is
encouraging customers to get their homes ready for a safe and
comfortable winter season.
"As we look to the cooler months ahead, there are many simple steps that
homeowners can take to help keep their home warm and safe this winter,"
said Tom Loski, vice president, customer service, at FortisBC. "As an
example, it's important to have your home's heating system serviced
annually by a licensed contractor to help make sure it operates as
safely and efficiently as possible."
Appliance maintenance tips:
Service natural gas appliances and furnaces. For homes that have natural
gas furnaces, fireplaces and appliances, it is important to have a
licensed gas contractor registered with the BC Safety Authority inspect
and service all natural gas appliances on an annual basis to keep them
operating in a safe and efficient manner. Make sure the contractor
locates and inspects the gas piping from the meter to the appliance to
confirm that it is functioning safely and free of any corrosion or
damage. Information about choosing a natural gas contractor is
available at fortisbc.com/findacontractor or safetyauthority.ca.
Ask the experts. Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels are burned
incompletely. Tobacco smoking, idling gasoline-powered vehicles and the
burning of oil, coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane or natural gas
can all produce carbon monoxide. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
from natural gas appliances is extremely low, however regular
maintenance checks by a licensed gas contractor are the best
Smell gas? Report it fast. If you smell the distinct rotten egg, or
sulphur-like odour of natural gas, leave the area immediately and call
the FortisBC 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-663-9911 or 911.
Keep your meter clear of ice and snow. For natural gas meters, remove
any built-up snow by hand until the regulator and shut off valve are
clear to help avoid pipe breakages, leaks and interruptions of gas
service. And, if ice builds up on your gas meter, call FortisBC at
Keep kids safe around a gas fireplace. Consider installing an adjustable
safety gate or screen and a fire-resistant hearth guard to better
protect young children around a gas fireplace. A safety screen would
ensure children do not touch the glass panels of a natural gas
fireplace. Visit your local hearth products retailer to find a safety
screen that's right for your home.
In addition to regular appliance inspection and maintenance, there are
many ways customers can lower their energy costs, while also staying
"This winter, home heating will account for a significant portion of a
customer's energy bill. Customers who are contemplating home
renovations, or shopping for new appliances, may want to consider doing
the project while significant rebates are available through FortisBC,
the provincial LiveSmart BC and federal ecoENERGY programs to help keep
their ongoing energy costs down," said Loski.
For a limited time, LiveSmart BC and the Government of Canada ecoENERGY
Retrofit-HomesProgram provide rebates to homeowners who upgrade their
home under the direction of a certified energy advisor. Rebates are
subject to availability and can change at any time. More information is
available in the Offers section on fortisbc.com/LiveSmartBC.
For more tips and information on natural gas safety and energy
conservation, visit fortisbc.com.
FortisBC is an integrated energy solutions provider focused on providing
safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane
and alternative energy solutions, at the lowest reasonable cost.
FortisBC employs more than 2,300 British Columbians and serves
approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C. communities.
FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest
investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and
operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately
7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines and
approximately 46,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and
distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC
Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. do
business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto
Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information
can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
For further information:
Corporate Communications Advisor