Generators are a good substitute for power during a prolonged power outage, but must be used safely.
Call Before You Dig!
The service is free, it’s easy to use and it’s the law!
Call 811 or visit www.cbyd.com
Damage prevention of utility infrastructure is everyone’s responsibility. Whether you’re a contractor excavating for a large project or a homeowner installing a mailbox, anyone who conducts earth-moving activities should contact Call Before You Dig before starting.
State laws require anyone who digs to notify CBYD at least 2 business days (but not more than 10) before starting any project that requires underground construction.
Electricity has one destination – the ground! It looks for ways to travel to the ground, and will travel through any path to get there – even a person. If you touch the power lines or get hit by lightning, electricity will travel through your body. This can seriously hurt or kill you. Use caution when working near electric wires. If you notice a downed power line, or a wire you are unsure of, call us immediately at 860-887-2555. Our line crew will respond immediately and correct the problem.
Wrap your service wires before working on your home
We offer a free service to help protect you from electrical danger when working on your home or business. Before painting or siding your building’s exterior, call us to cover the wires attached to the structure with a rubber sleeve. This will protect you from accidentally touching wires, resulting in electrocution. Call us at 860-887-2555 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to have wires covered. Please allow a minimum of two business days for this service. Sleeves will be removed in 30 days unless we receive a request from the property owner for an extension.
Electric Safety Tips:
- Look up when setting up a ladder or scaffolding outside the home. Never set up a ladder or scaffolding near unprotected wires.
- Teach your children the dangers of power lines – including telling them never to climb the utility poles, fly kites near wires, and never touch cables.
- Never attempt to trim trees near power lines. Only certified tree-trimmers should do this.
- Make sure that the electrical cords on appliances, lamps and other devices in your home are in good shape. Replace frayed cords or loose fitting plugs.
- Do not remove the ground pin/third prong of grounded-style cables. It is an important safety device.
- Don’t overload your outlet. Use surge-protected power bars when necessary.
- Replace blown fuses with the proper wattage fuse only.
- Keep electricity away from water! Never use appliances near water or leave appliances where they can fall into water. Don’t use an electric lawn mower on wet grass or in the rain.
- Don’t leave space heaters on while unattended. Make sure the area around the heater is clear of any material, paper, or furniture.
- Use caution with halogen lamps. Halogen bulbs get very hot. Floor or table lamps that get knocked over can cause a fire. Consider replacing your halogen lighting with compact fluorescent lighting.
- Get generator safety tips here.
- Always – Call Before You Dig! Dial 811. Do not start any excavation work until you have called this number.
Norwich Public Utilities a detailed process for delivering electricity safely to your home. Improperly installing a generator can cause damage to equipment and life threatening injuries. Norwich Public Utilities is available to consult with you on the installation of your generator. Our consultations are free of charge. Contact us at 860-887-2555.
Safely Installing and Using a Generator
Natural Gas Safety
Natural gas is safe, but like any form of energy, it must be handled properly. It is important for everyone to be familiar with the characteristics of natural gas and be prepared to respond in the event of a gas leak. A gas leak can often be recognized by smell, sight, or sound:
SMELL: Natural gas is odorless, but for safety reasons, an odorant called mercaptan is added so that a gas leak can be easily detected. Mercaptan gives natural gas a smell similar to that of rotten eggs. NPU annually provides customers with a “Scratch and Sniff” pamphlet to help identify this smell. To request a pamphlet, send your name and mailing address to email@example.com.
SIGHT: While natural gas is colorless, a leak may be indicated by the presence of a white cloud, mist, fog, dust, or bubbles (in standing water). Dead or dying vegetation, for no apparent reason, could also indicate a leak.
SOUND: Leaking gas could produce a roaring, hissing or whistling sound.
If you suspect a natural gas leak, take these following precautions:
- Do not turn lights on or off.
- Extinguish any cigarettes, candles, or other open flames immediately.
- Alert others inside and leave the home or building right away.
- Call 860-887-7207 immediately from a phone outside the home or building.
Norwich Public Utilities performs annual safety inspections on our natural gas meters throughout our service territory as required by the State of Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). This is a mandatory safety inspection that only a few minutes to perform.
If the natural gas meter is outside of a residence or business, the inspection can be completed without any assistance from the resident/homeowner. If a meter is inside a home or building and no one is present when the technician arrives, we will leave a card with information on how to schedule an appointment at a convenient time.
What the safety inspection entails:
- Visual inspection of the meter and gas piping between the meter and the building wall. The inspector will be looking for visible damage, corrosion, and other safety concerns such as electrical grounding to the gas pipe, which is not allowed.
- Check for gas leaks with an electronic instrument specifically designed to detect gas leaks.
- Minor gas leaks resulting from a loosened connection or fitting will be corrected on-site and retested to confirm the leak is repaired.
- Leaks resulting from excessive corrosion or a damaged meter will require an NPU technician to repair. The technician performing your safety inspection will advise you if this occurs and NPU will make all necessary repairs as soon as possible.
- All repairs resulting from this inspection upstream of and including the meter will be provided free of charge to the customer.
Why a safety inspection is required:
- The Code of Federal Regulations 49 CFR Part 192.481 states that each Operator (NPU is an Operator) must inspect each pipeline or portion of pipeline that is exposed to the atmosphere for evidence of atmospheric corrosion at least once every 3 calendar years, but with intervals not exceeding 39 months.
- In business districts and for public buildings this survey occurs once per calendar year, but with intervals not exceeding 15 months.
- Federal and state regulators, the people in charge of enforcing laws and regulations, have taken the stance in recent years that if an Operator can’t perform a safety inspection in accordance with the above regulations the only way to ensure public safety is to shut off gas to the property. While NPU does not want to shut off anyone’s gas service, we are in agreement that safety always has to be our top priority.
Call Before You Dig
Digging causes about 60% of all accidental damage to underground natural gas pipelines. Before you do any excavation work, call to have the exact position of all underground utilities located. It is easy, and it is the law! Call 811 (Call Before You Dig). Allow 48 hours for all utilities (including cable and phone) to perform the necessary mark-outs. For more information, visit www.cbyd.com.
Customer-Owned Gas Piping
Some of the underground natural gas piping on personal property belongs to the property owner. Customer-owned piping is defined as any buried gas line that extends away from the gas meter. Typically, customer-owned gas piping is used to supply heat and hot water to another structure, like a detached garage, but it can also be used to heat swimming pools and for cooking on a gas grill. If you have this type of gas line on your property, it is your responsibility to initiate any inspection and necessary repair or replacement of customer-owned gas piping through a qualified professional, such as a licensed heating/cooling contractor or plumber. Buried gas piping should be inspected periodically for leaks and for corrosion if the pipe is metal. If a gas leak is detected, it may be necessary to interrupt your gas service temporarily until repairs are made.
If you suspect a problem with any natural gas lines, call NPU’s gas emergency line at 860-887-7207.
Removing Snow from Gas Meters:
It is important to keep the area around your natural gas meter free from snow. NPU, fire departments and other emergency response agency personnel must have access to gas meters in case of an emergency shut-off situation. NPU Meter Readers also need access to the meters if customers want to avoid an estimated bill.
When removing snow around gas meters:
- Make sure you know the exact location of your meter before you begin to remove snow
- Maintain a safe distance between natural gas meters and shovels, snow blowers, and other equipment while shoveling
- NEVER push snow against natural gas meters, natural gas piping, or appliance vents (make sure all vents are free of snow or other obstructions)
- NEVER pile snow on top of natural gas meters, natural gas piping, or appliance vents
All natural gas customers should be aware that natural gas meters that are buried in deep snow or damaged by snow removal equipment could begin to leak. Natural gas meter leaks are a potentially hazardous situation.
Natural Gas Safety Tips:
- Abide by all directions from the manufacturer for using and maintaining gas appliances.
- Keep papers, cleaning fluids, curtains, and rags away from gas furnaces, water heaters, ranges, and dryers.
- Teach children never to light or play with the controls of any gas appliances.
- Keep your gas meter and appliance vents free of snow and ice.
- Keep flues and chimneys clear. Have flue pipes and chimney checked by your heating contractor each year to make sure they’re not blocked by nests, branches, or other debris.
- Remove lint from the gas clothes dryer screen after each load.
- Never leave stove burners on when not in use.
- If the burner doesn’t light, check to see if the pilot light is lit.
- Never use your gas range or oven to heat your home.
- Do not cover the top of the water heater or the space between the heater and the floor.
- A blue flame indicates the appliance is burning clean. If you see a yellow flame, this is an indication that service is necessary. Always use a licensed and insured contractor certified in servicing natural gas appliances to perform any maintenance or installation work.
- Make sure your home is equipped with a working carbon monoxide (CO) detector and test it regularly.
Download the following brochure for additional natural gas safety information: Natural Gas Safety & Public Awareness
The Deep River and Stony Brook reservoirs, as well as emergency supplies at Fairview and Bog Meadow Reservoirs, are our sources for drinking water. To keep them free of any contaminants, they are restricted from any use by the public.
There is no swimming, fishing, boating or skating permitted on the reservoirs.
Please remind your children about the rules, and dangers of the reservoirs. Even strong swimmers cannot swim in cold water. Let’s keep our water supply safe, and our children safe, too.
It’s important to be prepared in the event of a flood. Do you live in a flood zone? Does your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance cover flood damage? Read the attached brochure for valuable information that can protect you and your family, as well as your home when flooding occurs.Flood Information
Safety Information for First Responders
NPU works closely with local fire department personnel and other first responders to ensure they are adequately trained for response to utility situations. For more information about NPU’s First Responders Training Program, contact Barry Ellison at 860-823-4582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Responder Natural Gas Safety Training Program:
NPU has partnered with Northeast Gas Association to develop an e Learning training program for first responders. This is a self-directed, interactive, online training package that provides emergency response personnel with the information they need to safely identify and respond to incidents that involve natural gas pipelines and other natural gas facilities. Click on the above link, or the image below, and enter zip code to start. For the Town of Preston, please select “Norwich Public Utilities” from the drop-down list after you enter the zip code.
NFPA Alternative Fuel Safety Training
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has created a comprehensive online Alternative Fuel Vehicle training program for first responders. This course covers every type of alternative fuel used in transportation, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquified natural gas (LNG), electricity, hydrogen, and biodiesel. This course is free for First Responders.