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Black Hills Energy: residents should follow winter safety measures

Reminders include the following: don't use sharp tools to clear snow away from gas meters, keep outdoor vents clear of snow and don't touch or pick up downed powerlines.

(Black Hills Energy)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Black Hills Energy is monitoring weather conditions that are hitting Wyoming. Electric and natural gas business units’ operations teams are preparing for possible ice, heavy snow accumulation and cold temperatures.

Updates, safety information and outage resources are available at www.blackhillsenergy.com/weather. Energy conservation tips are at www.blackhillsenergy.com/winter-ready.

The company asks Wyomingites to take safety precautions.

Natural gas safety

Snow and ice buildup on your natural gas meter can create a safety hazard and may cut off the flow of natural gas to your heating equipment and other appliances. Please follow these guidelines for staying safe:

  • Gently clear snow away by hand or with a broom. Do not use a shovel, ice pick or other sharp tools. Damage could make the situation worse.
  • Keep snow blowers and shovels away from gas meters and other above-ground equipment.
  • Carefully clear snow away from the outdoor vent on high-efficiency furnaces and gas water heaters. These appliances will not run safely and efficiently if the vents are blocked.
  • Safely remove ice buildup from overhead eaves that could fall and damage gas meters below.
  • Point out the meter and any other above-ground utility structures to anyone you hire for snow removal.

Electric safety

  • If your power goes out, see if your neighbors have power. If your neighbors have power, check your home for blown fuses or a tripped circuit breaker.
  • If your neighbors’ power also went out or you can’t figure out the problem, report the outage at
    www.blackhillsenergy.com/outages
  • Anyone who sees damaged outdoor electric power equipment is asked to call 888-890-5554. Don’t remove debris on a powerline or outdoor equipment.
  • Don’t touch or attempt to pick up a fallen powerline. Assume any downed power line is
    energized.
  • During an outage, unplug sensitive computer and electronic equipment or protect them with a high-quality surge protector.

Outage information

For outage information in your area, log onto www.blackhillsenergy.com or follow the company on Facebook or Twitter. To receive outage notification on your mobile device, log into your Black Hills Energy account and opt in for notices.

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