Dominion East Ohio Reminds Customers Of Important Natural Gas Safety Tips

Feb 1, 2017

CLEVELAND, Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion East Ohio provides 24-hour emergency service year-round to ensure customer safety. If there is an odor of natural gas in or around the premises, Dominion advises customers to leave the premises and immediately call 1-877-542-2630, toll-free, and the company will send a representative to investigate. Dominion also considers it an emergency if none of the customer's natural gas appliances are working.

Natural gas is a safe, efficient fuel. To help customers detect natural gas leaks more easily, Dominion adds mercaptan, a chemical odorant, which gives natural gas its distinctive, sulfur-like aroma. When customers or members of the general public smell a suspected odor of natural gas, Dominion advises:

  • DO NOT remain in the house or building.
  • DO NOT attempt to locate the gas leak.
  • DO NOT open windows.
  • DO NOT use telephones or cell phones.
  • DO NOT turn any electrical switches, appliances or lights on or off, or unplug electrical appliances.
  • DO NOT operate your garage door opener.
  • DO NOT smoke or use lighters, matches or other open flames.

Call before You Dig for Safe Excavation
Third-party dig-ins cause the largest number of damages to natural gas lines and other underground utility facilities. Ohio law requires excavators, contractors and property owners, to contact the Ohio Utilities Protection Service, (OUPS) by dialing 811, at least two working days before digging, to avoid costly damage to underground utility lines.

Pipeline Markers Indicate Underground Facilities
Since natural gas pipelines are underground, line markers are used to indicate their approximate location. Markers are general, not exact, locators. Markers do not tell how deeply a pipeline is buried, nor do they necessarily indicate the number of underground lines. Pipelines do not always follow a straight course between two markers, so never rely solely on the presence or absence of pipeline markers. Please remember: Before you dig, always call OUPS at 811 to make sure you do not hit a utility line. It is a federal crime to willfully deface, damage, remove or destroy a pipeline marker.

Keep Clear of Right-of-Way Corridors
Dominion inspects the right-of-way corridors that extend along our pipelines and will notify property owners when structures or trees obstruct or encroach on a right-of-way. These corridors play an important role in ensuring the integrity and safety of Dominion's pipeline network. By calling OUPS before starting a project, you'll avoid problems. To ensure pipeline integrity:

  • Do not erect buildings or structures, or plant trees or other obstructions on pipeline rights of way.
  • Do not excavate, change the grade or impound water within the rights of way without our permission.
  • Do not move heavy equipment or logs across the rights of way.
  • Avoid blasting within 1,000 feet of the pipeline without approval from Dominion.

Keep Metering Equipment and Vents Clear
Although Dominion owns and maintains the gas meter, it is the customer's responsibility to provide clear access to the meter and associated metering equipment, and to keep it free from obstructions. This includes snow, ice and shrubs. Snow and ice can damage metering equipment, and it is the customer's responsibility to keep the metering equipment clear. Ice, icicles or water dripping on the meter could prevent safe and efficient operation of the meter and create a potentially hazardous situation. Icicles should be removed from overhead eaves and gutters to prevent dripping water from splashing and freezing on the metering equipment or appliance vents. Snow or ice can also block the side wall vents of gas appliances; customers must keep those clear as well.

Customers should remove any snow or ice from the meter or piping by hand or carefully with a broom. DO NOT use any objects, or strike the metering equipment to remove ice.

Likewise, DO NOT plow or pile snow up against or on the gas metering equipment, as well as any of the company's equipment buildings. In case of an emergency, company personnel must be able to access metering equipment at all times.

Do not tamper with or obstruct the gas meter, whether it's located inside or outside the home. Avoid piling mulch against gas metering equipment. Also, never use gas metering equipment or piping for hanging items, as a bike post or for any other purpose.

Heating System, Appliance Inspections Recommended
Dominion East Ohio also reminds customers that natural gas furnaces, boilers and appliances need regular inspection and maintenance by a licensed, qualified heating professional. Clean dirt and dust from underneath and around appliances, for maximum safety and efficiency. Keep combustible materials away from furnaces, water heaters, ranges or other appliances. If a gas appliance is replaced, moved, or no longer needed, plug or cap the open piping system.

Additional Safety Tips

  • Customers should be sure to have a working smoke detector on each floor of their home to alert families to danger. Check the detectors monthly and change the batteries yearly.
  • For an extra margin of safety, customers also should install a carbon monoxide detector, endorsed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in the sleeping area of their home.
  • House numbers should be posted clearly on the home or mailbox. Obscured or missing house numbers can cause a delay in locating a home during an emergency.
  • Dominion employees will not complete work assignments that expose them to hazardous conditions, such as unrestrained dogs, standing water in a basement or other circumstances.
  • Make sure stairs -- whether indoors or outside -- are clear of clutter, are not slippery, are well lit, have a handrail and, most important, are structurally sound.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 26,400 megawatts of generation, 14,600 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,600 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 1 trillion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves more than 6 million utility and retail energy customers. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.

SOURCE Dominion East Ohio

For further information: Neil Durbin, (216) 736-6239; email: Neil.J.Durbin@dom.com; Tracy Oliver, (216) 736-6219; email: Tracy.A.Oliver@dom.com; In Lima, Peggy Ehora, (419) 226-4866; email: Peggy.A.Ehora@dom.com


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