Unitil Tips of the Trade
CALL
Call 811 Before You Dig

To reach your state’s underground utility service/one-call center,
call 811
.

The required “business day” (excludes weekends and holidays) wait time for each state is as follows:
• Massachusetts: 3 days
• Maine: 3 days
• New Hampshire: 3 days

In case of a gas emergency, call Unitil:
• MA: 866-542-3547
• ME: 866-900-4460
• NH: 866-900-4115

Granite State Pipeline:
800-323-4410

 

 

Natural Gas Pipeline Hazards

Natural gas pipelines have a proven record of safety, but pipeline failures can and sometimes do occur. Read on to learn why these failures happen and how to recognize and respond to them.

How Gas Pipelines Fail
Damage by outside forces, often by someone digging into a pipeline, is the largest single cause of natural gas pipeline failure. Incidents also may occur due to corrosion, material failure, equipment failure, or other causes.

Hazards associated with a pipeline failure and gas release may include blowing gas, line rupture, fire, explosion, or (if gas is present in a confined area), possible asphyxiation.

You can help avert natural gas pipeline hazards by learning to recognize and respond to gas leaks and pipeline damage.

Gas Leak Recognition
Gas leaks may smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. But in some cases, this odor is not apparent. So don’t rely on your nose alone. Look and listen for other signs, such as hissing or roaring sounds, dirt spraying or blowing into the air, continuous bubbling in water, or dead/dying vegetation in an otherwise moist area over or near a pipeline.

Leak and Damage Response
If you suspect a gas leak, or if equipment contacts a gas line, take these steps:

  1. Evacuate the area immediately, including nearby buildings. Warn others to stay away.
  2. Leave the excavation open, and do not attempt to stop the flow of gas or fix the pipeline.
  3. Do not light a match, start an engine, or operate any electrical device—even a phone. A spark could ignite the gas.
  4. Abandon equipment.
  5. From a safe location, call 911 and Unitil at 800-323-4410. Call even if damage is a minor gouge, scrape, or dent to a pipeline, its coating, or a wire attached to or alongside the pipe.
  6. Stay away from the area until safety officials say it is safe to return.
  7. Report the incident to your supervisor.

Would You Like To Know More?
Unitil invites you to become an e-SMART worker. Check out our training tips, videos, and case studies. Each of these is designed to help you and your team work safely around electric and natural gas lines. Visit: http://unitil.e-smartonline.net/worker today!

Do you like this email series? Do you find the information helpful? We’d like to know. Please reply to this email and tell us what you think or let us know what topics you’d like to see in future emails.

For more information on contractor safety,
visit unitil.esmartonline.net/worker.

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