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For Immediate Release

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Timothy Stokes

866-655-2237 (media hotline)

Delmarva Power Reminds Customers About the Importance of Natural Gas Safety This Winter Season

NEWARK, Del. (Nov. 11 2020) – With colder temperatures on the horizon, Delmarva Power expects its customers to use more natural gas to heat their homes and businesses. As Delmarva Power prepares its systems to meet customer needs, the energy company is reminding customers also to prepare and stay safe this winter season while using natural gas. 

"The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our number one priority," said Bryan Clark, Delmarva Power director of Gas Operations. "As many of us continue spending more time working and learning from home during the pandemic, it's important customers ensure their natural gas equipment is working safely and efficiently heading into the winter season. Our safety resources and tips are designed to help all customers stay safe as we use more natural gas to heat our homes and businesses during the colder months ahead."

This winter, customers are advised to familiarize themselves with the important tips and information found on Delmarva Power's natural gas safety web page. Here are a few key reminders:

  • Leaks can be caused by construction or by ground movement during winter's deep freeze.
  • Natural gas is odorless, so an odorant is added to help customers and crews detect when a leak occurs.
  • Immediately reporting a natural gas odor is critical to help ensure customer and community safety.

If you believe you smell natural gas, call Delmarva Power immediately at 302-454-0317, 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

  • If you smell a faint odor of natural gas, check to see if a pilot light is out or if a burner on the stove is partially on. If you cannot find the source, evacuate the building immediately and call Delmarva Power from a safe location.
  • If you smell a very strong odor of natural gas, you should do the following:
      • Evacuate immediately, call 911 and Delmarva Power from a safe location.
      • Do not turn any electrical switches on or off.
      • Do not use devices such as phones, radios, doorbells, or flashlights.
      • Do not smoke, strike a match, or use a lighter.
      • Do not start a motor vehicle near the building.
  • If you smell natural gas outside, especially near a natural gas meter, call Delmarva Power from a safe location.

To promote good maintenance practices for natural gas equipment, especially during the winter season, customers should do the following:

  • Have your heating system or other natural gas appliances and piping serviced by a qualified technician.
  • Keep exhaust vents for natural gas appliances (e.g. water heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces) clear of snow and ice to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • Keep gas meters clear of ice and snow by using a broom or similar tool to gently clear the area around the meter.
    • Keep shoveled and plowed snow piles far away from your gas meter and never use a shovel or sharp tool to chip ice away – this can cause damage or break the meter.
    • Repair gutters and downspouts that may drip water onto your meter.

Delmarva Power works each day to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy service for its more than 136,000 natural gas customers. The company inspects and maintains nearly 3,600 miles of natural gas distribution and service lines and is an industry leader in responding to reports of natural gas odors—responding to the scene in less than an hour 99.98 percent of the time.

The company's strong record of meeting customer needs comes from its seasonal preparations and ongoing investments, including inspecting and conducting preventive maintenance on equipment, modernizing more than eight miles of existing natural gas mains each year, and refilling the company's natural gas storage tank, which provides critical gas supply for customers during the winter months.

To learn more about Delmarva Power, visit The Source, Delmarva Power's online news room. Find additional information by visiting delmarva.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/delmarvapower and on Twitter at twitter.com/delmarvaconnect. Delmarva Power's mobile app is available at delmarva.com/mobileapp.

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