ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Department of Public Safety is urging Minnesota residents who have homes heated with natural gas to clear their meters of ice and snow.

The DPS’s Office of Pipeline Safety says ice or snow could block the regulator vent and cause a malfunction — which could lead to a possible gas leak, fire or explosion, or interruptions in service.

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Authorities advise people to brush snow off of meters, and call their gas company if meters are covered in ice so professionals with the proper tools can open up blocked vents.

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Gas meters that ice up regularly are usually below the drip line of a roof and catch moisture when snow melts.

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