Stamford, CT – February 18, 2011 – The cause of the natural gas explosion that rocked a Pennsylvania neighborhood and left five people dead last week is still unclear. The investigation is currently focused on the aging cast-iron gas main that services the Allentown, Pennsylvania neighborhood.
According to a leading independent energy provider, regardless of the cause of this particular tragedy, the accident serves as an opportunity for everyone to review the importance of natural gas safety.
«This terrible tragedy in Pennsylvania illustrates just how deadly natural gas can be,» says Jeffrey Mayer, President and CEO of MXenergy, one of the nation's fastest growing independent energy providers. «Natural gas provides an important and invaluable service but it is equally critical that we treat it with respect and always use the upmost care when dealing with it in any capacity.»
Natural Gas Safety Tips
Use Your Nose: If you smell even the slightest odor of gas leave the area immediately and call your service provider or 911 from a remote location. Do not waste time or use anything that can cause a spark, such as a cell phone or even a garage door opener
Keep Areas Clear: Keep all areas surrounding appliances and equipment unblocked to allow for clear airflow
Look for the Blue Flame: Check all pilot lights and burners for a steady blue flame. The only exception is gas fireplaces which sometimes have a yellow flame
Dig Safely: Always call your local provider before you begin digging to avoid hitting an underground pipe and causing a leak
Store Properly: Never set flammable material close to any gas appliance or equipment
Properly Maintain Your Meter: Don't allow frozen rain or ice to build up on your meter. Use a broom (never a shovel) to clear ice and snow
Signs Of Trouble
Listen: A hissing noise near a pipeline or building is cause for concern. Immediately call your local service provider
Look: Dead or distressed vegetation above a gas main is another cause for concern and should be reported
Sniff: Any hint of natural gas odor inside or outdoors is cause for immediate action. Quickly leave the area and then call your provider or 911 for help
«Safety and awareness are of critical importance,»
Pennsylvania investigators report no calls of problems or odor prior to the explosion and plan to send cameras through the main to look for cracks and will perform pressure tests on the service lines.
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