NIPSCO Reminds Customers to Stay Safe During Arctic Blast

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A PUBLIC FORUM was held Saturday, January 26 at the Gary Public Library. “People’s State of the City” was the theme for the forum the focus on community, social justice and quality of life issues. The event was sponsored by Black Lives Matter NWI-Gary and Christ United Methodist Church. Among the participants were: Minister Emmet Mosely of Trinity United Church of Christ Gary, former IUN professor Ruth Needleman, Kwabena Rasuli, event coordinator; Lorrell Kilpatrick, Black Lives Matter. State Senator Eddie Melton, Jim Nowaki and Robert Buggs discuss some the things covered at the forum.

Crews Prepared to Respond to Gas and Electric Emergencies

As the anticipated coldest arctic outbreak in two decades makes its way across Indiana, NIPSCO encourages customers to keep safety top of mind and know what to do if they experience an emergency.

NIPSCO crews across the region will be working to ensure safe, reliable natural gas and electric service, and the company is prepared to respond to emergencies and calls throughout this event. Our gas and electric system is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, but outages can still occur.

Be Safe

While NIPSCO’s gas and electric system continue to operate normally, customers should call 1-800-4-NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726) if they experience any service-related issues or emergencies and be sure to take the following steps to stay safe:

Keep fresh air and exhaust vents for natural gas appliances clear. Remove snow, ice and debris to prevent equipment malfunction.

Keep natural gas meters clear of snow and ice – keep them visible at all times to ensure proper venting and for maintenance by NIPSCO and, if necessary, emergency responders.

Remove snow from the meter with hands or a broom – never use a shovel or kick or hit the meter to break away snow or ice. If the meter is encased in ice, contact NIPSCO for assistance.

Drive safely during icy conditions. If your car hits an electric utility pole and the power line comes down, stay inside your vehicle, unless you’re in immediate danger, such as a fire, and contact 911. If you must exit the car, jump clear without touching metal (the car) and the ground at the same time.

Call NIPSCO immediately if you detect natural gas. As always, if customers smell natural gas (typically a “rotten egg” smell) at any time, they should leave the area and call NIPSCO at 1-800-464-7726.

Use caution when driving near NIPSCO employees. Residents are also encouraged to drive safely when approaching any NIPSCO field employee or contractor vehicles who may be working in the area.

If you have pets, or an elderly or vulnerable neighbor, friend or relative, look out for them to make sure they are safe.

Check with your local municipality regarding warming shelter options that might be available in your area.

If you are using an alternate heating source, such as a fireplace or space heater, please remember to:

  • Keep flammable items, including paper, bedding or furniture away from heating equipment, fireplaces and stoves.
  • Place portable space heaters on a hard, level, nonflammable surface. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away.
  • Look for a model that shuts off automatically if the space heater tips over. Do not use heating equipment to dry wet clothing.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Never leave portable heaters, wood burning stoves or fireplaces unattended. Turn them off before leaving or going to bed.
  • Keep the fire in the fireplace by using a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

For information about electric and natural gas safety, visit NIPSCO.com/StaySafe.

Be Efficient

With the colder temperatures, customers can expect their energy usage to increase – especially as in-home appliances have to work harder and use more energy to maintain a consistent temperature or thermostat setting indoors.

NIPSCO offers several energy efficiency programs and plans to help customers save energy and money. Read more on those at NIPSCO.com/Save.

Payment assistance programs are also available for those who need it. If you find yourself getting behind on your bill, please call us at 1-800-464-7726 to discuss your options. Additional information can also be found at NIPSCO.com/BillingPayment.

About NIPSCO: Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), with headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, has proudly served the energy needs of Northern Indiana for more than 100 years. As Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company and the second-largest electric distribution company, NIPSCO serves approximately 810,000 natural gas and 460,000 electric customers across 32 counties. NIPSCO is part of NiSource’s (NYSE: NI) seven regulated utility companies. NiSource is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 4 million natural gas and electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about NIPSCO and NiSource is available at NIPSCO.com and NiSource.com.

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