Customer Experience
November 29, 2022

Winter safety protects you and your family

Wintertime brings many opportunities to enjoy being together indoors and outdoors. Make the most of whatever the season brings by creating a winter safety plan and following it. These simple steps can help prepare you and your family for seasonal hazards that can cause personal harm, property damage and interrupt your gas and electrical service.  

Natural gas safety


Your driveway and sidewalks are not the only things that must get cleared after a winter storm, whether you are home or not. Snow and ice buildup around your gas meter and external appliance vents can become dangerous for homeowners and their property.


Accumulating snow and ice buildup can interfere with the natural gas flow to and from your meter. Frozen gas meters can disrupt heating, potentially causing water pipes inside the home to freeze and burst.   


Exhaust vents for natural gas appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, stoves and fireplaces should also be cleared of snow and ice. The vents provide a clear opening for exhaust gases to vent to the outside and prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that can cause death.


  • Anytime you experience a natural gas outage, please do not try to relight gas appliances yourself. Contact Xcel Energy at 800-895-2999 to check your gas meter, service lines and appliances, and then relight them for you free of charge.
  • If you notice ice on your meter or are concerned that the meter's regulator vent may be blocked, contact Xcel Energy at 800-895-2999.
  • If you have guests or renters in your home this winter, please help them stay safe by printing this Winter Safety Guide (PDF) and putting it in a visible spot. It also describes how to safely remove ice and snow from the meter. 

Electrical safety


Winter ice storms can cause electrical lines to sag or drop to the ground. Take these precautions:


  • Always assume the line is energized and could harm you.
  • Stay at least 25 feet away from sagging or downed powerlines.
  • Report sagging and downed power lines to Xcel Energy at 800-895-1999. 


Always look up to identify nearby electrical lines before clearing snow off your roof and before hanging or removing seasonal lights. Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead electrical lines. Call Xcel Energy at 800-895-1999 if you are unsure.


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