PORTLAND - To keep your natural gas appliances working safely and efficiently through the cool months of fall and the cold, wet winter, sign up now for NW Natural's no-charge equipment inspection by calling (800) 422-4012.

NW Natural provides home safety inspections as part of its natural gas service and advises customers that because the home heating season has not yet begun, late summer through early fall is a great time to schedule an inspection. Additionally, if an appliance needs repair, homeowners will have the best chance of finding an available contractor that specializes in gas equipment.

In 2003, NW Natural received approximately 43,000 calls from customers experiencing equipment problems. In January's severe cold snap, there were more than 2,800 inoperative equipment calls, from customers left with no heat or hot water. These equipment problems could have been identified beforehand during a preseason safety inspection.

A visit from a NW Natural safety technician includes a variety of safety checks depending upon the situation and a homeowner's needs. It may include:

• Cycling of the equipment for proper operation

• Visual inspection of the venting system

• Cleaning and adjustment of pilots

• Checking for any possible gas leaks

• Checking safety devices and controls

• Checking appliance gas rate/ inputs to ensure safe, efficient operation of equipment in accordance with manufacturer settings as needed.

If users are in a new home or have had appliances repaired or inspected within the last year, this inspection service may not be needed. For more safety information or to schedule an inspection visit, call the above number or visit: (www.nwnatural.com)

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