Simple steps to keep your home warm and safe this winter
SURREY, BC, Oct. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - With the arrival of colder
temperatures, FortisBC would like to remind customers to take steps to
get their homes ready for a comfortable and safe heating season.
"Although there was a great run of sunshine into fall, we can expect
temperatures to drop so we want customers to take steps now to ensure
their home is ready for winter," said Tom Loski, vice president
customer service at FortisBC. "That includes making sure your natural
gas and electricity heating systems are functioning safely and
Seal drafty doors. Keep heat indoors. If your entrance door is drafty, get a caulking gun
and caulk between the doorframe and the wall. To stop drafts under the
door, install a door sweep on the bottom edge.
Heating only rooms you are using. Avoid heating unused rooms by closing doors and warm air supply
registers and by lowering the room thermostat for baseboards. Avoid
heating non-insulated spaces including garages, crawlspaces, attics or
Install a programmable thermostat. These are easy to install and when kept at 20 degrees Celsius when
you're at home and 17 degrees Celsius when you're asleep, you can save
15 per cent on your home heating bill.
Wrap your pipes. Insulate hot water pipes and reduce heat loss, especially those that run
through unheated areas like basements and crawl spaces.
Look for rebates. If replacing appliances or doing home renovations consider rebates that are available through FortisBC, and provincial programs such as LiveSmart BC.
Consider a home energy audit. Get tips to help you decide where to make the most energy efficient
changes in your home.
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.
Service heat pumps. For homes heated and cooled using an air source or ground source heat
pump, an annual inspection and service will help keep the system
running efficiently and improve air quality in the home. Customers may
qualify for a $50 rebate from the FortisBC PowerSense program for heat
pump servicing that is completed before October 31, 2012. Visit fortisbc.com/rebates for more information.
Carbon Monoxide reminder. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when fuels are burned incompletely.
Idling gasoline-powered vehicles and the burning of oil, coal, wood,
charcoal, kerosene, propane or natural gas can all produce carbon
monoxide. Regular maintenance checks by a licensed gas contractor are
the best prevention against accidental exposure to carbon monoxide.
Consider installing a CO alarm. Ensure that it is one which meets
safety standards approved by the Canadian Standards Association.
Smell gas? 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 1-888-224-2710. For our electricity customers, remember to keep the pathway to your
electricity meter free of snow and ice to help keep our meter readers
safe this winter. For more information, contact us at 1-866-436-7847.
Drive safe. Remember to slow down for the road conditions. When accidents happen
that impact power poles, it can cause a service outage for the
surrounding area. If an accident happens where poles or wires are
knocked down on a vehicle, it is important to remain in the vehicle
until help arrives. If the vehicle must be exited, jump clear of the
vehicle landing with both feet on the ground together and shuffle with
both feet on the ground to a safe distance of 10 meters. Also, watch
for FortisBC crews working on roadsides all year long in all weather
Be prepared for outages. Being prepared in advance can help minimize the inconvenience and help
keep our customers and employees safe. Keep flashlights, blankets, a
battery powered radio, water and emergency supplies in an easy to find
location at home.
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.
Add another person to your account. If you're worried about an elderly parent, relative, or dependant's
ability to pay their bill, FortisBC can add you to your loved one's
account. That way you can be authorized to discuss their account with
FortisBC. Simply have the account holder call FortisBC at
1-888-224-2710 for natural gas customers and 1-866-436-7847 for
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable
energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and thermal energy
solutions. 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 47,000 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