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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
NATURAL GAS SAFETY: RECOGNIZING A GAS LEAK
Sandy St. Pierre
What everyone should know about the safe use of natural gas
BERLIN, Conn., March 15, 2005 (NYSE: NU) –
Natural gas is one of the safest and cleanest burning energy sources available. It is used everyday to heat homes, cook meals, cool businesses, keep manufacturing processes running and heat water. But, like any other form of energy, it’s important to know what to do in the event of an emergency.
“Safety is our top priority and Yankee Gas invests millions of dollars each year to maintain the safety and reliability of the gas mains and services that make up our distribution system,” said Christopher L. Beschler, vice president of Operations for Yankee Gas Services Company. “The design, construction and operation of our underground pipeline system is performed by Yankee Gas to assure the safety of the public and prevent or mitigate the effects of gas leaks. But sometimes leaks do occur and when they do, it’s important for people to know what to do.”
Recognizing and responding to a gas leak
Delivering safe, reliable natural gas to its 194,000 customers across Connecticut is Yankee’s top priority. While the majority is caused by third party damage, leaks can occur for a variety of reasons. There are telltale signs to help customers and the general public identify a potential natural gas leak. You should call Yankee Gas immediately if:
You smell a “rotten eggs” odor (since natural gas is odorless, we add an
odorant called mercaptan to make it easy to identify in the event of a leak);
You hear an unusual hissing sound;
Or, you see debris blowing away from the area where gas enters your home or business.
If you smell natural gas or detect a gas leak, you should:
NOT turn on or off any lights or appliances
NOT use a telephone or cell phone
NOT light matches
Put out any cigarettes or open flames, like candles
Leave the building and call the gas company from a neighbor’s phone
Yankee Gas, like all natural gas utilities in Connecticut, is available 24/7/365 to respond to gas emergencies. In an emergency, call Yankee Gas toll-free at
What’s the biggest threat?
The single biggest threat to public safety is third party damage to underground natural gas facilities. Typically, third party damage to underground facilities is caused by improper digging and blasting in areas where gas mains are located. In Connecticut, anyone who is planning any kind of construction project is required to notify the state’s one-call system – Call Before You Dig (CBYD) – at least two days prior to this type of work. CBYD provides training to excavators and notifies all utilities of planned excavation work around underground utilities.
For more information on specific guidelines, call the CBYD clearinghouse toll-free, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1-800-922-4455. Or, visit CBYD on the Web at
. Call Before You Dig also sponsors monthly safety meetings, as well as excavator workshops on preventing damage to underground utilities at its Hamden office. For more information, call (203) 248-5502.
Yankee Gas Services Company (Yankee Gas) is Connecticut’s largest natural gas distribution company, delivering safe, reliable natural gas service to approximately 194,000 customers in 71 cities and towns. Yankee Gas is expanding Connecticut’s energy options and increasing customer choice by extending the availability of clean, efficient natural gas throughout the state. Yankee Gas is part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit
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