Dangers of unreported gas leaks punctuate safety campaign - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Dangers of unreported gas leaks punctuate safety campaign

(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
Gilbert neighborhood where an explosion damaged this home in February. (Source: CBS 5 News) Gilbert neighborhood where an explosion damaged this home in February. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Residents are being urged to report gas leaks and help prevent them as Pipeline Safety Awareness Month kicks off April 1.

The Arizona Corporation Commission hopes to raise awareness of safe digging and gas pipeline safety practices.

The signs of a natural gas leak include a rotten egg odor, hissing noises, dirt blowing up in the air and bubbles rising in a puddle or a place you would not likely find them.

If you smell gas while taking a walk, going shopping or running errands, the Commission urges you to contact your local gas company or to call 911.

On Feb. 9, an explosion in a Gilbert neighborhood severely burned a landlord.

Jason Nelson suffered burns over more than 80 percent of his body when he lit a cigarette in the garage of a rental house where one of his tenants lived. He was called to the house by the renter to investigate a natural gas odor.

The lighter ignited the explosion despite no natural gas source at the house.

As many as 24 homes were ordered to evacuate while Southwest Gas investigated the source of the leak.

The Commission's Pipeline Safety Division encourages the public to:

  • Evacuate and call the local gas utility and/or 911 from a safe location immediately if you smell, see, or hear escaping gas.
  • Stay away from the area once an evacuation has taken place until authorities say it is safe to return.
  • Maintain the natural gas piping that you own. If you have a gas line that goes to a remote location such as a pool heater, spa heater, barbeque grill, additional house or apartment, gas lights, etc., have them periodically checked for leaks and ensure they are protected from corrosion. Make any repairs promptly.
  • "Call Before you Dig." Call 811 before any digging project first, even if you are planting a tree, to find out the locations of underground utilities.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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