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Gas Public Safety Awareness

Utilities

Gas Public Safety Awareness


Important Message About Gas Pipeline Safety
The United States relies on natural gas for nearly one-fourth of its energy.  Natural gas is clean, convenient and efficient, which makes it the country’s most popular home heating fuel.  Each day underground pipelines carry natural gas safely and efficiently to millions of homes and businesses across the United States.  Natural gas is used to heat homes and businesses, to heat water, to cook meals, to fuel vehicles and electric power generation and for many industrial processes.  In our community, underground pipelines provide natural gas service to homes, businesses, schools and industries.  The City of Hesston operates a safe and efficient pipeline distribution network of stations, mains, services and meters.  Natural gas is purchased by the City of Hesston from major transportation pipeline companies at one of the three (3) gate stations where the pressure is regulated then distributed through city mains and service lines to your gas meter and into your home or business where it is regulated again.

The City of Hesston is committed to constructing and maintaining a natural gas distribution system that complies with applicable state and federal guidelines, with industry standards and safety regulations.  Pipelines are monitored in the field through regular patrolling and scheduled maintenance. Management plans are implemented to further protect the City of Hesston. 

Your knowledge and understanding of underground pipeline facilities, damage prevention, and emergency notification is an important element in ensuring pipeline integrity and enhancing system performance.  Our goal is to deliver clean and reliable natural gas throughout the community.

Natural Gas Facts
  • In its original state, natural gas is colorless and odorless.  We add a chemical to give it a distinctive odor (similar to rotten eggs or sulfur) so that you can smell a leak immediately.
  • Natural gas has a narrow range of flammability.  This means that it takes a precise combination of air and natural gas before it can burn.  Since natural gas is lighter than air, it usually will rise and disperse into the air if allowed to vent freely.
  • Natural gas is generally non-toxic.  However, it can displace oxygen and cause suffocation.
Signs of a Natural Gas Leak
  • Unexplained areas of dead vegetation where the surrounding area is green.
  • A meter dial that continues to move after all natural gas appliances and equipment have been shut off.
  • Unexplained, sudden increase in gas consumption.
  • Distinct natural gas odor similar to the smell of rotten eggs.
  • Blowing, hissing sound, or bubbling in a wet or flooded area.
What To Do If You Smell Gas In Your Home or Business
If you smell a gas odor, or you are unsure if you have a gas leak, leave the house immediately and call the City of Hesston at (620) 327-4412 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 911 after 5 p.m. from a neighbor’s house or cell phone outside the building.
  • Do not attempt to locate gas leaks.
  • Do not turn lights on or off or unplug any electrical appliances or lights.
  • Do not use telephone in or around your home or business, light matches or do anything that might cause a spark.
If You Smell or Detect Gas Outside, Call the City Immediately
  • Avoid making contact with escaping vapors.
  • Abandon all equipment being used in the area.
  • Warn others to stay away from the area.
  • DO NOT light a match, start an engine or vehicle, use a phone, switch on/off electric lights or appliances.
  • DO NOT try to operate any pipeline valves.
  • DO NOT use a cell phone while near the suspected emergency area.


Call 811 Before You Dig
A federal-mandated national “Call Before You Dig” number 811 was created to help protect you from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on digging projects.  Smart digging means calling 811 before each job.  Whether you are a homeowner or a professional excavator, one call to 811 gets your underground utility lines marked for FREE.  Protect yourself and those around you – Call 811 or your Kansas One Call number every time.  It’s the law!

Kansas One Call Center
Call 811 or 1-800-DIG-SAFE  or   (800) 344-7233
KansasOneCall.com


What You Should Know About Carbon Monoxide

What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a very poisonous gas that is invisible, odorless and tasteless, and it can build up to dangerous levels in any home…..even yours.

CO comes from the incomplete combustion of common fuels such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, gasoline, coal, wood, charcoal, and kerosene, and from almost any combustible material such as tobacco, cloth and paper.

Cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust create the most significant sources of regular CO exposure for most people, but just about any appliance or machine that burns a fuel has the ability to produce CO if it is malfunctioning.  Problems such as a crack in your furnace, a clogged chimney, or simply warming up your car in the garage – even with the garage door open – can build up dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
A person exposed to carbon monoxide may complain of a headache, dizziness, nausea, or fatigue, and other symptoms similar to the flu.  In severe cases, it can cause unconsciousness, brain or heart damage, or death.  If you experience flu-like symptoms that go away when you leave your home, suspect CO poisoning.  Children, pets and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

What should I do if I suspect a CO problem?
If you have symptoms that might be CO poisoning, you should have everyone leave the premises – including your pets, if you can safely take them with you.  Seek medical attention immediately, especially if all the residents in the home are suffering from the same symptoms at the same time, or if the symptoms improve when you leave the house.  Then call the City of Hesston or another qualified technician to come check your home for carbon monoxide.

How can I protect my family from CO?
The Best Protection against carbon monoxide poisoning is a CO Detector.
  • Never operate a car or truck in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Keep vents and chimneys clear of debris, including leaves, trash, and even birds and animals that have built nests in your chimney or vents.
  • Never operate charcoal or gas grills or similar equipment inside a home, tent, trailer, garage or other enclosed area.
  • Never use a range, oven or clothes dryer for heating your home.
  • Have space heaters and water heaters inspected regularly by a qualified person.
  • Between professional inspections, do a visual inspection for potential equipment problems, such as soot or water collecting near a burner or vent.
  • Natural gas equipment should show a clear blue flame. A yellow or orange flame may indicate a problem.  If a problem appears, call a qualified technician. 

Keep Your Gas Meter Area Clean
Your gas meter needs space. The area around your gas meter should always be free and clear from objects, bushes or plants. Don’t attach anything to your meter (or gas piping) – clothesline, dogs on leashes, garden hose, etc. Do not lean anything against your meter or piping. When planting trees, shrubs or plants, be sure to allow plenty of room for future growth around and below the meter area. Fully grown trees could obstruct or even uproot your gas lines if planted too close to a meter. Please keep in mind that if you damage any equipment, you may be responsible for the cost of repairs.