Steps to Minimize the Threat of Gas Leaks
Recently there have been a lot of building explosions due to gas leaks. Early last month, Patterson, New Jersey residents experienced a house blowing up due to a gas leak which flattened two houses. In Queens, New York, nine buildings had to be evacuated due to a gas leak. These are just two examples of problems with gas lines that are becoming more prevalent. According to data from the federal government, roughly every other day some type of incident occurs with gas, resulting in millions of dollars in damage and several deaths each year.
Although not all gas leaks are a result of aging or leaking pipelines, many of them are. Aging infrastructure throughout the country is plagued with outdated pipes that need replacement. The best way to replace these pipes is by having continuous piping, rather than piping with multiple welded joints. Cutting and welding pipes can create weak links in the system. At points where pipes are joined by other fasteners, there is more potential for leakage. Stam, Inc. reduces the problem of gas leaks by using bends in tubing instead of excessive cuts and weld spots. This reduces the chance of future gas leaks, keeping everyone safe.
As pipes begin to show signs of aging or leaking, it’s imperative to fix them immediately. Although gas is clear and odorless, gas companies add a scent to the gas, called tert-Butylthiol (t-butyl mercaptan) to ensure people recognize the smell in order to be alerted of a leak and to take action. In case you suspect a gas leak, it’s important to remember to:
- immediately evacuate and call 911 from a safe location
- don’t turn any switches off or on as they can create a spark, igniting the gas
- leave doors unlocked as you leave and get everyone out
- don’t use matches, phones, or battery powered equipment
- don’t start a car or other motorized equipment
Following these rules can keep you safe, should a gas leak occur. However, if you suspect something isn’t right or seems unusual with a gas pipe, always call 911. It may just save a life, including your own.