Gas company shortchanges homeowner safety

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Dear Barry, In a recent article, you recommended that gas-burning fixtures such as furnaces, water heaters, and ranges should receive an annual safety review by the local gas company, and you stated that such services are offered free of charge by natural gas providers. When I called my gas company, Washington Gas Utility, I was told that they no longer perform free diagnostic services and haven't done so for nearly 10 years. I also learned that they did not appreciate your article and were planning to bring this to your attention. Just thought you'd like to know. –Catherine Dear Catherine, Thank you for bringing this significant update to my attention. Gas utility companies provide a product that is indispensable for heating homes, water, and food but which has obvious, inherent dangers. Recognizing this reality, those companies that supply natural gas to the general public have historically taken a proactive position with regard to safeguarding their customers, and, accordi...