A gas meter may be located in a variety of places around your property. You may find it on the interior of the structure, mounted to the exterior or located somewhere on the grounds.
When installed outside, one of the most important considerations is protection of the unit and piping. In particular, we are concerned with potential damage from moving vehicles. If the meter is located adjacent to a driveway, parking area or is subject to vehicular traffic in any way, it requires protection.
National and local codes call for “bollards” to be installed in such locations. Bollards are steel posts filled with concrete, often painted bright yellow for visibility. They are installed in such a way around the meter that a vehicle cannot come into contact with it. The vehicle would strike the bollard and stop before dealing damage to the meter. Specifications for bollard installation vary so you will want to contact the authority having jurisdiction in your area or your gas supplier for details. Typically, it is the property owner’s responsibility and at their expense to have the proper protection installed.
In the photo above we can see a perfect example of a meter in need of bollard protection. In this case the meter was actually struck by a vehicle that went off the driveway. The large rocks placed around the unit did little to protect it. Upon impact, a section of underground pipe was damaged resulting in a leak. Gas service had to immediately be shut off to the property. To complicate matters, it was late winter/early spring with temperatures still dipping below freezing. With no way to heat the house the result was burst water pipes and extensive water damage.
The lesson here is self-evident: Get your bollards up!