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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
(800) 989-0900

www.yankeegas.com
News Release
  

Yankee Gas Offers Heating Season Safety Tips
 
MEDIA CONTACT:Sandy St. Pierre
Office:(860) 665-6211
After Hours:(860) 279-1173
 
BERLIN, Conn. - October 28, 2002 (NYSE: NU) – The cooler, fall weather is prompting many in Connecticut to begin turning on their heat for the first time. Whether fueled by natural gas, heating oil or electricity, Yankee Gas Services Company, part of the Northeast Utilities system, reminds consumers that annual inspections and cleaning of their heating systems can provide maximum efficiency and ensure their safe operation through the winter heating months. Inefficient or poorly ventilated systems can potentially cause serious problems, including carbon monoxide poisoning, and increase heating fuel costs.
“Treat your heating system as you would your car: schedule regular check-ups to make sure it continues operating properly,” said Chris Beschler, vice president of Operations. “Natural gas offers a great energy value and is safe and reliable to use in your home or business. But natural gas equipment, like any other energy equipment, must be properly maintained for safety and efficiency.” In fact, the American Gas Association recommends annual inspections for all natural gas appliances. It’s the best way to spot trouble before it happens, said Beschler.

Preventing carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly. It is the byproduct of incomplete combustion of any type of fossil fuel, including heating oil, coal and natural gas. Carbon monoxide can be deadly. Symptoms of CO poisoning are “flu-like” and include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and confusion. You should suspect the presence of CO if your symptoms improve or disappear when you leave a particular building where you think there may be a buildup of CO. If that occurs, here are some life-saving tips:
Open all windows and doors to let in the fresh air
Call your fuel supplier or a licensed heating contractor immediately for an emergency inspection
Seek medical attention immediately.

What to do if you smell natural gas
Natural gas is also a colorless, odorless gas. That’s why natural gas companies, like Yankee Gas, add a chemical called mercaptan that gives it a “rotten eggs” odor. This makes it easy to detect in the event of a natural gas leak. Leaks can be caused by something as simple as a pilot light going out on a stove or third party damage to underground gas mains. That’s why it’s important to know what to do in the unlikely event of a leak. Natural gas is non-toxic and will dissipate harmlessly in the air. But if you should detect that “rotten eggs” smell, Yankee Gas recommends the following tips:
Do not operate electric switches, appliances or flashlights
Do not use the telephone, including a cellular phone (go to a neighbor’s to use their phone)
Do not light matches and be sure to extinguish any open flames, such as candles
Leave doors and windows open, but don’t take the time to open them if they are closed
Leave the premises and call Yankee Gas from a nearby pay phone, cell phone or a neighbor’s home.
Yankee Gas operates a 24-hour gas leak emergency hotline for prompt response in the event of a reported gas leak. Customers can call any time, day or night, 1-800-992-3427. In addition, Yankee has extensive annual campaigns to educate customers, school children and the general public about natural gas safety and offers training to fire departments throughout its service territory. Yankee Gas also offers service plans for central heating and hot water systems and performs service work on these systems.
To learn more about the many safe, reliable uses for natural gas and its excellent safety record, visit www.yankeegas.com.


Yankee Energy System, Inc., (YES) which is part of the Northeast Utilities system, includes Yankee Gas Services Company, the largest natural gas distribution company in Connecticut serving approximately 191,000 customers in 70 cities and towns throughout the state. Yankee Energy also includes Yankee Energy Financial Services Company, which provides a full range of residential and commercial energy equipment financing options. Further information about YES can be obtained from its Web sites: www.yankeeenergy.com, www.yankeegas.com and www.yankeefinancialservices.com
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