Gas companies want meters to be accessible and free from obstructions. They say this as a safety precaution to you and because they want to be able to read the gas meter without any inaccuracies. What can you do to insure safety around a gas meter?
Gas meters should never be used to secure an animal even briefly. The animal could damage it and perhaps cause a gas leak and die from the fumes. If nothing more it will cost to get it fixed because you’ll be the one held responsible for causing the damage. Likewise any animal that can attack a meter reader when they enter your yard should be moved or temporarily chained up until the reader is done. Chaining items such as a bicycle to the meter can do some pretty impressive damage as well. If the item was big enough and fell over it could rip the meter down and break it. As a result gas would probably start leaking at that point.
Attaching anything that is electrical can be explosive. Things that work off of electricity can potentially dispel sparks when they aren’t working right and if they are secured to a gas meter with a gas leak when a spark dispels your house could blow up in seconds.
Hanging tools above a gas meter or sitting garden helps such as a shovel or rake beside it can cause destruction to the meter should they fall on it. Bagging trash bags full of leaves and sitting them underneath the meter as well as tree trimmings and brush or piling up broken boards of wood from a fence along with nails can spark off a quick fire if ignited from a gas leak. They can also make the meter reader wail if they step on a nail or a stick hits them in the face as they are trying to lean in for a better view of your meter. If below the meter happens to be a place that is home to your watering hose meter readers might not see it and step in it resulting in a fall.
Clutter around the meter can damage it and cause the meter reader to fall. Keeping the space around the meter free from clutter will help the life span of the meter and it will mean accurate readings come bill time plus it can be more easily repaired if it breaks down because it will be easier to get to.