November 2, 2006
For Release:   Immediately
    Denise D. VanBuren or

Central Hudson Reminds Customers To Prepare for Winter Weather


With the change of seasons, customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation are reminded to prepare now for winter weather and to stay safe around electricity and natural gas.

“During the winter we spend more time indoors, and should keep electrical and natural gas safety in mind,” said Central Hudson Senior Vice President of Customer Services Charles A. Freni. “For example, don’t overload electrical outlets, and don't run extension cords under carpets. When using space heaters, be sure they carry the seal of a national testing agency such as the Underwriters Laboratory or the American Gas Association, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper clearances and safe use.”

At this time of year many heating systems begin working after months of sitting idle, and customers should be aware of the potential dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. This occurs when an inadequate air supply causes the incomplete burning of any fuel (including oil, coal, natural gas, propane, kerosene or even wood). Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea or drowsiness, and in severe cases can be fatal. “As a precaution, change the batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors,” said Freni. “But if a CO problem is suspected, step outside and call 911.” The homeowner should also contact their heating contractor right away.

“For safety's sake, never use a natural gas oven or range for space heating, or any purpose for which is was not designed,” added Freni. “Also, if you smell natural gas, don't light a match or turn lights or any other electronic devices on or off; don’t use a flashlight, cell phone or telephone; and be cautious of the possibility of static electricity,” he said. “Leave the building immediately, and call Central Hudson from another location as soon as possible at 1-800-942-8274.”

Freni added, “Winter storms can be severe, and customers should be prepared ahead of time. If a storm is forecasted, have plenty of drinking water and non-perishable food on hand, and ensure that you have adequate prescription medications. If the storm should strike and interrupt electric service, contact Central Hudson using the automated PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714 to report your power condition. While crews are restoring service, avoid using candles for illumination - use a flashlight instead. Listen to radio reports of restoration efforts, and check on elderly neighbors and relatives to see of they may need assistance.

“Don’t forget to winterize your home,” Freni noted. “Check and repair the seals around windows and doors, and install heavy curtains to keep out the cold. Change the filters on your heating system, and have it professionally serviced for safe and efficient operation. Remember, too, that adding humidity will keep homes feeling warmer.”

Other tips include:

  • Using generators carefully. Never operate a portable generator inside your home, including the basement or garage. Do not hook up a generator directly to your home’s wiring.
  • Following the manufacturer’s instructions when installing, servicing and operating appliances, water heaters and heating systems.
  • Teaching children never to play with the controls on gas and electric appliances.


For more on safety and energy conservation, visit To request your free copies of  “A Guide to Safety, Service and Managing Energy Bills for Central Hudson's Natural Gas Customers,” and “Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy at Home,” send an email to, or call (845) 452-2700.


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