Are Gas Pipelines Safe?

Gas pipeline explosions are rare, but when they happen significant injuries and death and property damage can occur.  Pipeline explosions can be caused by simple aging, particularly corrosion.

Pipelines are running underground across the country – approximately 2 ½ million miles of pipeline. Many of the pipelines are old. So how do we know that they are safe?

According to experts, most pipelines do not need to be inspected – only those which are near large populations or natural resources. Only about 7 percent of major lines run near neighborhoods. In addition, utility companies are required to clearly mark pipelines and to notify residents about them.

If you are worried about a gas leak in your neighborhood, there are some steps you can take. Of course, be alert for a smell. Natural gas does not have an odor, but frequently utility companies will add an odor in order to help detect leaks. It may be a rotten egg smell. Listen for a hissing sound. Also, look for a cloud or fog, grass or other vegetation that’s dying for no apparent reason, or bubbles in standing water, which can all be signs of a leak.

If for some reason you do suspect a leak, leave your house immediately. Do not turn any lights or appliances on or off or use a phone, or even start your car – all of those actions can create a spark.

I can help with your personal injury or wrongful death or property damage claim.  Please contact me if you have an issue with a gas pipeline you would like to discuss.

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