For Release: 12/07/2016

As first winter chill sets in tonight, Peoples Gas reminds customers to take precautions during frigid weather

Peoples Gas representative available to do live or taped interviews offering winter preparedness tips

CHICAGO-With temperatures tonight expected to dip into the 20s for the first time this season, Peoples Gas encourages customers to put cold weather home safety at the forefront.

Having furnaces and boilers inspected, ensuring appliances are in good working order and installing and remembering to test carbon monoxide detectors are some of the ways to help keep families and friends safe as temperatures continue to drop.

"At Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, the safety of our customers is our number one priority," said Lori Flores Rolfson, vice president - operations, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. "We want to ensure that customers have the right information so that they use their heating equipment and appliances safely. Now is a great time to ensure the safe operation of heating equipment."

Peoples Gas suggests the following winter weather safety tips for residents:

Heating safety tips

  1. Keep the area around the furnace and water heater free of clutter.
  2. Don’t store flammable liquids near the furnace or gas water heater.
  3. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
  5. Follow a space heater's instructions carefully and use with proper ventilation.
  6. Only use a space heater when an adult is at home.
  7. Never use a charcoal grill indoors.
  8. Never operate internal combustion engines indoors.
  9. Never operate an electric generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed area. It requires proper ventilation in an outdoor area.
  10. Keep combustibles away from all heat sources.

Carbon monoxide (CO) prevention

* Illinois law requires every home and apartment to have a CO alarm within 15 feet of sleeping areas
  1. Be alert for the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  2. If CO poisoning is suspected, get everyone out of the house and call 911 or emergency medical help immediately.
  3. Check the batteries in CO alarms and smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly.
  4. Replace CO alarms that are older than five years.
  5. Have all fuel-burning appliance, flues, vents and chimneys checked regularly for blockage.

Keep vents and meters clear

  1. Keep vent pipes to high-efficiency furnaces, power-vented water heaters or other natural gas appliances that vents outside clear of ice and snow.
  2. Keep natural gas meters clear of ice and snow for safety and accessibility.
  3. Never shovel snow up against meters or let excessive snow cover it.
  4. Remove snow and ice from meters by hand or with a broom. Shovels and other tools can damage the equipment.
  5. Remove hanging icicles to prevent dripping water from freezing meters.

Additionally, Peoples Gas understands it is sometimes difficult to keep up with monthly energy bills. Financial assistance programs are available to help manage natural gas bills.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)/Share the Warmth

  • LIHEAP helps customers keep their utilities on when they’re struggling financially or service has been disconnected. Customers can apply for once-a-year grants or for a monthly benefit under which they pay a percentage of their income toward their heating bills.
  • The Peoples Gas Share the Warmth program is funded through the generous donations from Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, their employees and customers to provide matching grants of up to $200 to help customers offset the cost of their natural gas bill.
  • Eligibility for both programs is based on household income over the past 30 days.
  • For Peoples Gas customers, the Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) administers LIHEAP and Share the Warmth. Peoples Gas customers should call 800-571-CEDA (2332) or visit for information about how and where to apply.
  • For North Shore Gas customers, the Community Action Partnership of Lake County administers LIHEAP and Share the Warmth. North Shore Gas customers should call 847-249-4330 or visit for information about how and where to apply.

Customers in need of financial assistance are urged to attend the 12th annual winter resource fair hosted by Rep. Danny Davis in partnership with Peoples Gas on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If customers think they have a natural gas leak or emergency, they should call Peoples Gas immediately, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 866-556-6002. For more tips on safety around natural gas, please visit

For More Information, Contact:

  • Vanessa Hall


WEC Energy Group