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?

We’re here to help. If your meter is damaged in any way, contact us:

Gas meters: Call FortisBC’s 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.

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 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 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 gas meter. For details, call us at 1-888-224-2710 or consult a licensed gas contractor.

Meter safety hazards to avoid

Does your 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.

Keep it clear in winter

  • Remove built-up snow from meters by hand, ensuring the regulator and shut-off valve on the 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 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.

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 with stored items, snow piles or shrubbery. Be careful building additions on your property. Building too close to service lines or enclosing your gas meter could create an overbuild hazard, inhibiting our crew’s ability to complete meter readings, meter exchanges and maintenance.

Did you receive a letter that we’re planning to improve access to your meter for safety?

When we identify an overbuild hazard, a situation in which third-party construction impacts gas meters and service lines by limiting our access, we may need to visit your property to move or replace your gas meter and service line or clear the hazards from the line. We may also need replace your meter if it no longer complies with current safety standards. If work is required, we’ll contact you directly to explain and schedule the work.

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?

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 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.