5 tips for cold snaps from Virginia Natural Gas

Morning at the Oceanfront, a couple days after a big snowstorm. King Neptune's in near-silhouette. (Photo courtesy of SummerSizzler's Flickr)
Morning at the Oceanfront, a couple days after a big snowstorm in 2010. (Photo courtesy of SummerSizzler’s Flickr)

With a big temperate swing expected for Norfolk and Virginia Beach resident this week, Virginia Natural Gas released safety tips for dealing with cold snaps.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jon McGee forecasts a low for Thursday night and early Friday morning is 17 degrees.

But it could be worse.

McGee said the lowest historic temperature Virginia Beach and Norfolk had Dec. 16 and 17 was one degree in 1958.

Regardless, it’s going to be chilly. Here are five safety tips to brave the cold from Virginia Natural Gas.

Be careful with appliances

VNG encourages people not to use gas-powered appliances like ovens or stove burners as a source of heat.

Watch out for carbon monoxide

Furnaces and water heaters are natural gas appliances that could cause carbon monoxide build-ups. To prevent this from occurring, VNG encourages people to monitor appliances’ air intakes and outdoor vent openings.

Headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a VNG press release. Call 911, get to a safe area and seek medical attention if you are experiencing it.

Be mindful of gas leaks

If people smell a rotten egg odor comparable to natural gas, VNG says they should immediately leave the area and call 877-572-3342. It also encourages them not to identify the leak themselves, use light switches, operate appliance, use a phone or spark a match.

Understand energy consumption

Using natural gas for heat can contribute to one’s ecological footprint. VNG encourages people who are interested in understanding the impact of their energy use to complete a free energy audit on its website.

Conserve heat

There are a few “little things” that could go a long way when it comes to trapping heat in a room. VNG says to change air filters regularly, open curtains to let sunlight in and make windows less cold, make sure a heat source isn’t surrounded, and caulk and seal air leaks.

For more details about VNG safety tips, click here.


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