At Union Oil & Gas, we’re continually improving our natural gas pipeline infrastructure. This system – with nearly 6,000 customers and miles of transmission and distribution pipelines in Cabell, Putnam, and Kanawha counties – brings safe, reliable and environmentally friendly natural gas throughout the area.
However, as with any type of transportation, you need to use caution! Possible hazards associated with an unintended release from a natural gas pipeline facility include gas migrating near or inside a building, pipeline fires or explosions. Although these occurrences are not commonplace, it’s important to review guidelines mentioned here for the steps that should be taken if you suspect a pipeline product release.
If You Smell Gas – Act Quickly
A rotten egg odor is added to natural gas so that you can smell a leak if it occurs. The gas itself is actually odorless, but a substance called “mercaptan” is added as a precaution.
If you smell a natural gas odor:
- Immediately have everyone evacuate the house or building and nearby area, travel upwind and advise others to stay away.
- Do not use any devices that might create a spark, such as light switches, phones, flashlights or electric appliances, including computers or garage door openers. A spark could ignite the gas.
- Do not close windows or doors while exiting the structure. Open access will allow gas to travel outside.
- Go to a nearby phone and call the Union Oil & Gas hotline to report the odor.
- Keep everyone away from the building until given the “all clear” from a gas company employee.
Remember: Never try to find the leak yourself. To report a gas leak, call 304-586-2151 if you are able. If you feel you are in danger, call 911.
Physical Indications of a Pipeline Release
- The smell of a “rotten egg” odor
- An unusual hissing or roaring sound
- Flames burning or coming from the ground
- Dead or discolored vegetation in the midst of green vegetation
- Dirt blowing from a hole in the ground
- Water bubbling or blown into the air at a body of water
- Rainbow sheen on water
- Frozen area on the ground
- Do NOT operate pipeline valves, unless instructed by gas company personnel.
- Do NOT drive into an area suspected to have a leak or a vapor cloud.
- Eliminate all ignition sources
Other Gas Safety Tips
- Gas appliances should have proper air circulation at all times.
- A gas flame should burn bright blue. A yellow or orange flame could indicate improper combustion or venting.
- Keep flammable or combustible items away from gas appliances and equipment.
- Use gas equipment only for what it’s designed to do. For example, you should never use a stove or range for heating.
- Buy only gas equipment that has the American Gas Association Blue Star seal of approval, which shows that the appliance meets safety standards.
- Always keep one or more fire extinguishers in your home.
- We are required to keep the area above ground of our lines clear for patrols and leak surveys. If part of your property borders on a pipeline right-of-way, you will see our workers clearing brush and trees about once a year to meet our requirements.
- If you are one of our gas customers, our meter readers will be out to read your meter once a month. Please don’t plant shrubbery or put anything in place that will affect their access to the meter!