For Release: 03/14/2017

Heavy snowfall reminds Chicagoans winter is not over yet

Peoples Gas offers winter weather safety tips

CHICAGO – Spring might be less than a week away, but winter is not over yet. As Chicago experiences heavy lake-effect snowfall, Peoples Gas urges customers to remain safe with our winter weather safety tips.

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. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  3. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
  4. Follow a space heater's instructions carefully and use with proper ventilation.
  5. Only use a space heater when an adult is at home.
  6. Never operate an electric generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed area. It requires proper ventilation in an outdoor area.

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’s 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.

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