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Meter safety

Your meter’s job is to measure the amount of natural gas used by your home or business. The area around it should be kept clear so that you, the meter reader or emergency responders can reach it at all times.

Seasonal meter safety tips

Winter

  • ​Remove any built-up snow by hand until the regulator and shut-off valve are clear.
  • Never kick or hit the meter to break ice or snow build-up.
  • Don’t use a snowplow or blower near your meter.
  • When shoveling snow, don’t pile it up against your meter.
  • If ice builds up on your meter or regulator, call FortisBC at 1-888-224-2710.

Spring and summer

Keep your meter safe and accessible

  • Don't build anything around or over the meter and piping, such as a shed, deck or other structure.
  • If making structural changes to your building such as adding windows, doors or vents, ensure there is adequate distance between the opening and the gas meter. For details, consult a licensed gas contractor or call us at 1-888-224-2710.
  • Don’t create a vehicle lane, driveway or parking next to your meter.
  • Don’t tie or attach anything to your meter or piping, such as clotheslines, ropes, leashes or hoses.
  • Don’t lock bikes to the meter.
  • Don’t store or lean anything against the meter.
  • Keep the area clear of plants, shrubbery and landscaping.
  • Take care not to bury the meter shut-off valve, which is on the inlet pipe next to the meter. In an emergency, you may need to be able to turn off the gas at the meter.
  • In alleys and narrow walkways, business owners should keep obstacles such as waste disposal bins away from the gas meter and piping. Ensure waste management companies do not damage the equipment during waste removal.

Keeping British Columbians safe, one meter at a time

Meet Clint – a FortisBC customer service technician

How often do you think about your natural gas meter? FortisBC customer service technicians like Clint Carey hope you’ll give that meter some attention, for safety’s sake.

“You need to know where your meter is, give it enough room to work, and keep the area clear at all times so technicians can access it safely and efficiently,” Clint says.

He’s seen it all—including meters that have been surrounded by overgrown shrubs, ice, snow and homemade structures. He’s also met customers who’ve accidentally backed into their meter with their vehicle. “Customer safety is always top-of-mind, so we take the time to educate our customers about the importance of meter safety.”

Whether Clint is replacing old meters or responding to an emergency, “every customer interaction is an opportunity to help people with their natural gas needs, or help them solve a problem.”

That’s energy at work.

A measure of safety

When planning renovations or structural changes to your building, make sure you’re still giving the meter enough room to work. Enclosing it in a patio, planting bushes, or adding vents, windows and other openings too close can increase the risk of damage, block access to the meter or create an enclosed space where gas can build up.

If alterations are required to make the meter safe to operate, you may be responsible for the cost.

Hazards to avoid

Does your meter look like one of these? Whether you have a natural gas make sure you don’t do any of the following to avoid serious harm or damage.

Planning to work near your meter? 

  • If you’ll be digging, always call or click before you dig (call BC One Call at 1-800-474-6886 or cellular *6886) to find out the location of buried gas lines and other utilities.
  • When digging around your meter, dig by hand. If you damage this equipment, you may be responsible for the cost of repairs.
  • If you’re renovating and have questions about what’s permitted near your gas meter, call us at 1-888-224-2710 or consult a licensed gas contractor

Planning renos?

  • When planning renovations or structural changes to your building, make sure you’re still giving the meter enough room to work. Enclosing it in a patio, planting bushes, or adding vents, windows and other openings too close can increase the risk of damage, block access to the meter or create an enclosed space where gas can build up.
  • If alterations are required to make the meter safe to operate, you may be responsible for the cost.

Planning a demolition?

  • Whether you’re a contractor, builder/developer or a homeowner, if you’re planning the demolition of a house, building or other structure, you must ensure the natural gas service is safely disconnected before any demolition begins. This will ensure the safety of you, your family, workers and the general public. Learn more

Notice meter damage? 

Call FortisBC right away at 1-800-663-9911.

​How to turn off your meter

You can turn your gas off at the main shut-off valve on the inlet pipe next to your gas meter.

 

Using a wrench or other suitable tool, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that it is crosswise to the pipe (see diagram).

Find a natural gas contractor.

Caution! Once the gas is shut off at the meter, DON'T try to turn it back on. Only a registered gas contractor can turn the gas on safely. Call FortisBC, or the British Columbia Safety Authority to find a licensed gas fitter to restore gas service.