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West Fargo Fire Department advice residents to clear vents and gas meters of snow buildup



West Fargo, North Dakota – After the recent winter weather, the West Fargo Fire Department wants to remind you to check your gas meters and vents. Snow and ice that is heavy or hard-packed on meters or outside vents can be dangerous.

The pressure in gas meters is controlled by a vent. High snow drifts can block homes’ air intakes, gas meter vents, and furnace vents.

Every vent and air intake must be checked regularly to make sure that snow and ice haven’t built up. If it gets blocked, it could cause a service outage, a gas leak, or problems with how an appliance works. Carbon monoxide can also build up inside a home if the vents are blocked.

“We recommend keeping a three-foot area clear around all vent and intake tubes,” said West Fargo Fire Marshal Dell Sprecher. “After any snowfall, it is important to inspect all meters and vents to ensure they remain clear of both snow and ice.”

Use a broom, your hands, or a soft-bristled tool to remove snow from gas meters and vents. Don’t hit the machine with a shovel or hammer to break up snow or ice. After a big snow or ice storm, chimneys and vents for gas appliances must also be cleaned out to make sure they work right.

If you smell gas or hear a carbon monoxide alarm, get out of the building and call 911 right away.