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News Room

Columbia Gas of Maryland Kicks Off ‘Safety Minute’ Campaign by Reminding Customers to Trust Senses Around Natural Gas

Thursday, June 01, 2017

June is National Safety Month, and the safe delivery of natural gas for the 33,000 customers Columbia Gas of Maryland serves in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties is a top priority for the company.

Columbia Gas of Maryland is helping to promote safety by kicking off our “Safety Minute” campaign, offering simple tips anyone can follow to stay safe around natural gas.  The first installment provides customers guidance about how to detect natural gas and what to do if a gas leak is suspected.

“Columbia Gas has built its culture on a strong foundation of safety for our employees and our customers,” said Mike Huwar, president of Columbia Gas of Maryland.  “National Safety Month is a great time to remind our customers about how they can stay safe while enjoying the many benefits that natural gas offers.”

Make sure to use your senses to detect a natural gas leak: 

  • Look – Bubbling water or dirt blowing from the ground near a natural gas line can indicate a release of natural gas from an underground pipeline.
  • Listen – A hissing, blowing, or roaring sound from the ground could indicate a potential hazard.
  • Smell – An unpleasant odorant like rotten eggs (called “mercaptan”) is added to natural gas to provide an early warning of leaking natural gas.

What to do if you detect a natural gas leak:

  • Immediately evacuate the area.
  • From a safe location, call 911. Do not assume someone else already called.
  • Tell others to stay away from the area.
  • Avoid open flames or anything that could spark ignition
  • When emergency personnel arrive, explain the situation to them.

What not to do if you smell gas or suspect a leak:

  • Don’t light a match or candle, or operate anything that could cause a spark, including cell phones, lights, appliances, flashlights, power tools, etc.
  • Don’t try to find the leak yourself or operate pipeline valves.
  • Don’t attempt to operate a pipeline valve or try to correct the leak yourself.
  • Don’t open the windows and doors in attempt to ventilate. Leave them in their current positions.

Future topics of the Safety Minute campaign will include carbon monoxide safety, work zone safety, calling 811 before you dig, sewer line safety, and gas appliance safety.

For more information about natural gas safety, please visit https://www.columbiagasmd.com/stay-safe.

About Columbia Gas of Maryland

Media Contact: 
Russell Bedell 
(717) 849-0129 
rbedell@nisource.com