Meter safety

Keeping the area around your meter clear ensures that you, meter readers or emergency responders can reach it safely at all times. The energy you use enters your home or business at the meter, so give this important equipment a little respect while it’s doing its job.

Is your meter damaged?

Natural gas meters: Call FortisBC’s natural gas emergency line right away at 1-800-663-9911 (24 hours) to report damage.

Electric meters: FortisBC electricity customers should call 1-866-436-7847 (24 hours) to report damage.

Give your meter room to work

Try to keep a clear path to your meter at all times. That means being careful not to block it, whether with stored items, snow or shrubbery. If you’re renovating or gardening, be mindful when adding windows or vents near the gas meter or damaging buried gas lines and other utilities by planting or digging. If you have questions about what’s permitted near your gas meter, call us at 1-888-224-2710 or consult a licensed gas contractor.

Keep it clear in winter

  • Remove built-up snow from meters by hand, ensuring the regulator and shut-off valve on the natural gas meter are clear.
  • Never kick or hit a meter to break ice or snow build-up. If ice builds up on a meter or regulator, call us at 1-888-224-2710 for natural gas meters or 1-866-436-7847 for electricity meters. We’ll remove the ice for you.
  • Don’t use a snowplow or blower near a meter.
  • Maintain a clear path to each meter—take care not to shovel snow onto them.
  • When clearing and shovelling snow, also ensure appliance vents on the side of your home are not blocked.

Safety measures in spring and summer

  • Keep the area around a meter clear of plants, shrubbery and landscaping.
  • Don’t tie or attach anything to a meter, such as clotheslines, ropes, leashes or hoses.
  • Don’t store or lean anything against a meter, including bikes or garbage bins. 
  • If your natural gas meter is in a driveway or parking area, install protection posts to prevent vehicle damage.
  • Don’t build structures around or over a meter and gas piping, such as a shed or deck.
  • Take care not to bury the natural gas meter shut-off valve, which is on the inlet pipe next to the meter.
  • If you’re renovating and adding windows, doors or vents to your building, ensure there is adequate distance between the opening and a natural gas meter. For details, call us at 1-888-224-2710 or consult a licensed gas contractor.

Meter safety hazards to avoid

Does your natural gas meter look like one of these photos? Make sure not to do any of the following to avoid serious harm or damage. View gallery.

Has your gas been shut off?

DON’T try to turn it back on. Only a FortisBC technician or licensed gas contractor can turn the gas back on safely. Call FortisBC or a Technical Safety BC licensed gas contractor to restore gas service at the meter.

Planning a demolition?

Natural gas and/or electricity service must be disconnected before any demolition work begins for your safety and that of workers, contractors and the general public. If you’re planning to demolish a house or building, contact us first to request removal of natural gas service or disconnection of electricity service.

Tip: Always click or call before you dig to find out where gas lines and other buried utilities are, and dig carefully by hand near your meter and/or gas line. If you damage this equipment, you may be responsible for the cost of repairs.