ShareThis Page
Home

Report natural gas odors to 911, regulators say

| Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010

State regulators are spreading the word on one early lesson they learned from the San Bruno explosion: Anyone who smells natural gas should call 911.

Gas companies usually have their own emergency numbers they ask customers to call for reporting gas odors. But people should call 911 first, said Jennifer Kocher, spokeswoman for the state Public Utility Commission. Doing so gets a quicker response from gas companies and ensures emergency responders arrive to help company workers, she said.

"Don't question, don't delay," Kocher said. "Once you smell it, it can be ignited. It's a volatile source. So it's not something we prefer for people, for lack of a better term, to mess around with. A light switch, a cell phone, those are all things that could set it off."

A fenced-off area with hissing pipes sits above one of the pipelines running through the Stonebridge neighborhood in North Fayette. A sign from Dominion Energy, which no longer owns the pipeline, warns of the pipeline and says "for emergencies call (800) 773-5263." The sign doesn't mention 911.

"If there were a real emergency, we'd call 911 ourselves," Dominion Energy spokesman Dan Donovan said. "To me, it doesn't matter which one you call first. If you call us, we'll call them, and if you call them, they'll call us."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me