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Natural Gas Safety Tips

The natural gas pipeline system is an important part of our community. Pipelines play an important role in everyone’s lives and are essential to the nation’s industries. Pipelines are the safest most reliable and efficient manner of transporting natural gas and other petroleum products. While we work hard to maintain a safe and reliable system, an occasional leak or damage may occur. In the event a natural gas pipeline is damaged severe injury or death may occur as a result of an ignition, an explosion or asphyxiation. We take many active steps to ensure that the health, safety and security of the communities and the environment along our pipelines are maintained. These steps include, but are not limited to, routine monitoring and patrolling of our pipelines via aircraft, vehicles, and/or on foot using a number of technologies. If you would like more information on how the company maintains its piping system please contact us at: customerservice@lacledegas.com. If you would like more information on the pipeline industry go to: www.pipeline101.org.

Contact Information

Laclede Gas Company
To report an emergency or a gas odor: 314-342-0800 or 1-800-887-4173

All other calls: 314-621-6960 or 1-800-887-4173

Correspondence: Drawer 9, St. Louis, MO 63166


Natural Gas Safety Tips (pdf, 589.81KB)
 

In case of emergency or if you smell the odor of natural gas

If you detect the odor of natural gas, let us track it down.

  • Leave the building immediately and warn others.
  • Don't turn on or off any electrical appliances as you leave, even light switches or cell phones, to avoid creating a spark. Then, call us from another location.

Also, if your pilot or burner is substantially higher than normal, this may be an indication of excessive pressure. Call us immediately.

Suspect a pipeline leak?

There are several signs that can indicate a leak is present. If you see any of these signs, please notify us immediately and we will investigate the situation.

  • Hissing sound or odor of gas near a pipeline or in or around any building.
  • Ice formation on the ground above a pipeline.
  • Distressed or dead vegetation above a pipeline.

Dig safely. (www.mo1call.com)

Don’t accidentally break a gas line or other underground service while digging in your yard. Before you dig, call 1-800-DIG-RITE (1-800-344-7483) or 811 (national one-call number). You can also visit www.mo1call.com to have underground utilities located and marked. Wait for the locate to be completed. Then, be aware of the marks as you dig carefully with a shovel. Careless digging cannot only damage and disrupt vital utility services, but can cause injury or even loss of life. If a gas line break occurs, go to a safe location and immediately call and report it to MO One Call at 1-800-DIG-RITE and then call us. Also, call 911.

Let gas pipes be gas pipes.

Gas pipes have a job of their own to do and shouldn't be used for anything else – certainly not clotheslines, free-form closets or grounds for electrical appliances. Also, if a gas appliance is disconnected, be sure the gas pipe is capped. If your gas meter is located inside, we must be given access to it to perform periodic safety inspections. Avoid damp corrosive environments around gas pipes and take corrective action if you see a badly corroded pipe. If the badly corroded pipe is on the street (inlet) side of the meter, call our Customer Service number to report this condition. In most cases, our company does not maintain gas piping located beyond the gas meter.

Gas appliances and meter sets need their space Flammable material close to gas appliances and snow, ice and other debris around gas meter sets and gas appliance vents can create hazardous situations.

Check your furnace and flue.

See that your heating equipment is clean and in good working order. Properly adjusted pilots and burners and clean filters, as well as clear chimneys, vents and flues, pay off in both safety and savings. Leaves, bird nests, fallen bricks or mortar can mean problems, including exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). If you find something that you can’t handle, call us or your heating contractor. We can check to make sure that your gas appliances have appropriate connectors. Gas appliance service work is not subject to PSC regulation.

Guard against carbon monoxide.

Properly working gas appliances are very safe, so your first line of defense against carbon monoxide (CO) is to have your furnace inspected annually, either by us or your heating contractor. If you use a CO detector, make sure it is a UL-approved, alarm-sounding device. If your CO alarm sounds, call your local fire department.


 

Watch your hot water setting.

A child's skin burns more easily than an adult's. If you turn up the thermostat on your water heater for any reason, remember to turn it down when you’re finished to avoid small children accidentally scalding themselves when they the hot water faucet is turned on.




Going Out of Town?


Consider asking a neighbor, friend or family member to check on your residence if you plan to be away for an extended period of time. Occasionally, we are required to interrupt your natural gas service temporarily in order to conduct unanticipated repair work on our system.  Before restoring your service, we are required to enter your residence to check appliances. To help us serve you better, remember to have someone check on your home while you are away.


Additional Safety Information

Check plastic vent pipes

Some furnaces and boilers installed after September 1987 use high temperature plastic vent (HTPV) pipes that could, under certain circumstances, crack or separate. Manufacturers are replacing these venting systems free of charge. To determine if you are eligible for the free replacement program, check the vent pipes attached to your furnace or boiler. If those pipes are gray or black plastic with the names "Plexvent," "Plexvent II," or "Ultravent" stamped on the pipe or printed on stickers, call 1-800-758-3688 any day between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. As a natural gas customer, you should have your furnace checked and cleaned annually to make certain it is operating safely and efficiently.

Have older, flexible gas connectors replaced

Uncoated brass flexible connectors installed prior to 1977 — generally used to connect appliances such as stoves and dryers with natural gas supply pipes — are susceptible to cracking, breaking and deterioration caused by, among other things, moving, bending, corrosion, and possibly also by some types of detergents, cleaning solvents or ammonia, and cooking grease.

If you think you have an uncoated brass flexible connector in your home, have your gas company or a qualified service contractor replace it with a new one made of stainless steel or plastic-coated brass. Do not attempt to move an appliance to inspect the connector because moving could strain the connector and possibly cause it to crack. Let your gas company or a qualified service contractor conduct an inspection.

It also is a good practice to have a qualified professional inspect and, if necessary, replace any flexible connector that is more than 10 years old.

Make sure your appliances and gas lines meet local codes

You are responsible for making sure your gas appliances and piping are installed, operated and maintained in accordance with local codes and manufacturers’ specifications. Gas appliances and piping that are determined to be unsafe must be taken out of service.


 

Relocation of Meters

To assure proper service, gas meters must be accessible. If you are planning to do work on your premises that will affect the location or accessibility of a gas meter or service line, please call our Customer Service number to arrange for us to evaluate your plans.


 

Customer Buried Fuel Line Responsibility

Our company operates and maintains all gas piping up to and including the company’s meter. In most cases, our company does not maintain gas piping located beyond the gas meter. These gas lines are your property and responsibility. If you have any buried gas lines beyond the gas meter, it is recommended that maintenance be performed to prevent potential hazards of corrosion and leaks by periodically inspecting for leaks and corrosion on metallic lines. If unsafe conditions are found, the lines should be repaired or disconnected. If excavating near buried gas piping, locate the lines in advance and hand dig. Our company and some plumbing and heating contractors can assist in locating, inspecting and repairing buried gas lines.

Excess Flow Valves

In accordance with federal regulations, an excess flow valve that meets federal government performance standards may be be installed in a service line that is installed or replaced to a residence. An excess flow valve is installed in a qualifying gas service line close to the location wehre the service line is connected to the gas main. It is designed to shut off the flow of gas automatically if the service line is broken. However, while the valve provides enhanced measures of safety, it is not intended to prevent all gas-related mishaps or injuries, nor is it designed to operate in response to small leaks in the service line or leaks on customer fuel lines.

There is no charge for the installation of an excess flow valve during the installation or replacement of a qualifying service line. If you are interested in having an excess flow valve installed in an existing service line, please call us. We will determine whether the service line is eligible and, if appropriate, arrange for the installation.

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