Last year one of our team members spotted a telephone utility box resting on top of a customer’s DTE gas equipment while on vacation and quickly reported it to ensure the safety of themselves, the resident and the whole neighborhood. Unfortunately, field technicians see this often and it’s important to make sure your gas meter near your home (or business) are free of any obstruction such as packages, debris, tall vegetation and more, to ensure your safety. Additionally, this helps our team provide swifter, regular services as well as quicker inspections in the event of an emergency.
Update On This DTE Customer
As an update, we have some good news! After reporting this, the meter has been updated not only by our team but by the phone company and others who had equipment in this area. Plus, the wall has been reinforced, furthering this customer’s commitment to safety.
Our DTE Gas marketing team realized there was a gap in communication with our customers that covered the treatment of equipment. In the spirit of Continuous Improvement, they used this as an opportunity to expand our messaging by launching a social media campaign focused on increasing awareness and educating customers around preventing gas leaks and proper treatment of all gas equipment. As a result of these actions and the improved processes, the team lived out our service key of being dependable all while keeping our customers safe.
“Keeping natural gas meters clear is crucial to ensuring safe and reliable service,” said Tim Fuller from DTE Gas. “There should never be anything cutting off access to the cut-off valve, or anything placed on or hung from the meter. It’s also important to make sure no landscaping or weather elements, such as snow or ice, make it hard to access because our team needs to be able to access it for safety purposes.”
If you see something that’s not right – take action. If you see an obstructed meter or one being used for anything other than its intended purpose, call the gas leak tip line at 800.947.5000 and let them know you would like to report a potentially hazardous situation.
Gas Safety Tips
As a Michigander, you know the seasons can be tough on you and your natural gas meter. Falling branches from wind and ice storms can damage the equipment. The same is true of heavy snow sliding off roofs and large icicles that suddenly detach. Here are some tips to keep in mind as the weather changes:
- Remove leaves from around natural gas exhaust and air intakes, and don’t pile leaves that limit access to your meter for service visits or emergency situations.
- Be careful using a shovel, snow blower or snowplow when clearing snow and ice near your natural gas meter.
- Keep your natural gas meter and equipment free of snow and ice by carefully removing accumulations by hand, brush or broom.
- Cautiously remove ice hanging from roof edges above your natural gas meter.
And when it’s spring/summer once again it’s important to:
- Trim overgrown vegetation and remove piles of leaves and debris that can hinder access and prevent the meter from venting.
- Remove branches that may have fallen on your meter due to storms or high winds.
Lastly, always make sure the exhaust vents and air intakes of natural gas appliances are not obstructed. If they’re blocked, dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) could accumulate in your home or business.
Thank you in advance for regularly inspecting your meter for any potential obstructions or damage, and learn more safety tips on our website.