Fire officials and those with Alliant Energy are reminding home owners to clear the area around water hydrants, vents and meters. With large snowfalls and blizzard conditions across the area in recent days, be sure that vents, meters and air intakes for natural gas appliances are clear of snow and ice. Be careful and use a broom or hands to remove snow around meters so they do not become damaged. This enables proper venting and furnace operation -- and prevents carbon monoxide accumulation. Easy access to water hydrants can save valuable minutes in the event of a fire.