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AREA GAS COMPANIES ADVISE CUSTOMERS ON IDENTIFYING EMPLOYEES

 AREA GAS COMPANIES ADVISE CUSTOMERS ON IDENTIFYING EMPLOYEES
 PITTSBURGH, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Area gas companies -- Columbia Gas Co., Equitable Gas Co. and Peoples Gas Co. -- today provided the following information on identifying employees to area customers.
 Tuesday's break-in by a man posing as a meter reader emphasizes the importance of taking a few simple steps before admitting a stranger into your home:
 -- Ask for and carefully examine identification; and
 -- If in doubt, don't permit entry, and call the utility company involved at the customer service number shown on the gas bill.
 All employees and contractors of Columbia, Equitable and Peoples Gas companies who might request entry into the home for any reason carry photo ID cards which clearly identify the employee and the utility. In addition, those employees whose job responsibilities regularly require entry into a customer's premises -- such as meter readers, customer servicemen, and credit and collection representatives -- are uniformed.
 Check the latest bill for the scheduled meter reading date if that is the reason given by the visitor. As a rule, the gas companies notify customers in advance, usually by letter, of any scheduled visit for reasons other than meter reading (e.g., meter change, construction and mainline work, leak survey and repair, billing investigation).
 Know the location of the meter. If it is outside the house, no entry by a meter reader is required.
 While instances of the kind that happened Tuesday are very rare, they can be reduced still further by taking these precautions, representatives of the companies said.
 -0- 7/22/92
 /CONTACT: Rosemary Martinelli of Columbia Gas Co., 412-344-9800; Brian Plante of Equitable Gas Co., 412-553-5802; or Chuck Weber of Peoples Gas Co., 412-392-2467/ CO: Columbia Gas Co.; Equitable Gas Co.; Peoples Gas Co. ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:


DM -- PG012 -- 2052 07/22/92 15:26 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 22, 1992
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