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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
NATURAL GAS SAFETY: RECOGNIZING A GAS LEAK
What everyone should know about the safe use of natural gas
BERLIN, Conn., August 11, 2005—Natural gas is one of the safest and cleanest burning energy sources available. It is used every day to heat homes, cook meals, cool businesses, keep manufacturing processes running and heat water. Like all forms of energy, it must be handled properly, and so it is important to know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Delivering safe, reliable natural gas to our 194,000 customers across Connecticut is Yankee’s top priority. “We design, construct and operate our underground pipeline system—investing millions of dollars each year—to assure the safety of the public and prevent or mitigate gas leaks,” said Christopher L. Beschler, vice president of Operations for Yankee Gas Services Company. “But sometimes leaks do occur.”
Recognizing and responding to a gas leak
There are telltale signs to help customers and the 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, such as 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?
Although leaks can occur for a variety of reasons, the single biggest threat to public safety is third-party damage to underground natural gas facilities. Typically, this damage 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 www.cbyd.com. At its Hamden office, Call Before You Dig sponsors monthly safety meetings as well as excavator workshops on preventing damage to underground utilities. 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 www.yankeegas.com.
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