Daylight saving time ended this morning, giving everyone an extra hour of sleep before changing the microwave clock. But Atmos Energy says don’t stop there! The company reminds everyone that this is an opportunity to perform routine household safety checks, inspecting your family’s natural gas piping and appliances along with other common alarms and detectors around the house.
“The beginning and end of daylight saving time should be easy-to-remember occasions every spring and fall to install new batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and perform other routine safety checks, ensuring that your home is safe all year round,” says David Gates Atmos Energy Mississippi Division President. “Our vision is for Atmos Energy to be the safest provider of natural gas services, so we want to remind our customers and the public there are things we can all do at home to keep our families safe.”
In most states served by Atmos Energy, customers are responsible for maintenance and service of gas lines from the meter into their home and natural gas appliances. Just as homeowners contact electricians to inspect electrical wiring and plumbers to repair a leaky sink, this weekend serves as a convenient reminder to contact a licensed plumber or qualified contractor to inspect their natural gas lines and appliances.
Elsewhere in the house, data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that approximately 50,000 people in the United States visit a hospital emergency room each year due to accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as natural gas burn incompletely and installing carbon monoxide detectors in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of a home is a recommended practice. In addition to regular safety checks, operating appliances in accordance with manufacturer instructions can further promote safety and prevent carbon monoxide build up.
Also related to carbon monoxide safety, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends these additional safety measures:
- Do not idle vehicles inside a garage or other enclosed structure.
- Be sure to properly install, adjust, operate and vent appliances.
- Do not sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.
- Do not use charcoal to start a fire indoors.
- If you or your family experience sudden headaches, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness or flu-like symptoms, leave the structure immediately and from a safe distance call 911.
- Do not close chimney flues when fireplaces are in use.
- Fix leaks immediately.
- Check vents on water heaters, dryers and other natural gas equipment to ensure a free flow of air without being blocked by bird nests, snow or other objects.
- Contact a qualified professional to inspect, clean and tune-up central heating and water heating systems annually.
For home safety tips and to learn more about customer-owned natural gas piping, please visit: https://www.atmosenergy.com/safety/home-safety. For additional carbon monoxide safety information, please visit: https://www.atmosenergy.com/safety/carbon-monoxide-safety.