We've been lucky this fall to have such beautiful weather but it won't be long before we'll all have our furnaces fired up and running full throttle. Now is the time to call a qualified plumbing or heating professional to ensure that your furnace is clean and in good working order. Properly adjusted pilots and burners and clean filters, as well as clear chimneys, vents and flues, pay off in both safety and energy efficiency savings. Leaves, bird nests, fallen bricks or mortar can cause problems, including exposure to carbon monoxide (CO).
There's also a few things that you need to keep an eye on throughout the winter to ensure your safety. Gas appliances and meter sets need their space. Don't store any materials close to gas appliances, especially anything flammable. Appliance closets seem to be nice catch-alls for hiding junk but it's important that gas appliances have enough space around them for proper combustion. Snow, ice and other debris around gas meter sets and gas appliance vents can create hazardous situations. Keep your meter sets and gas vents clear of snow and ice. Be GENTLE...brush them off with a broom...don't use a shovel, you could cause damage to the components and create a leak.
And, of course, if you smell gas, call your local gas operator from another location immediately to report the leak!