Triangle Chatter

PSNC Energy is Committed to Safety

PSNC EnergySigns of economic recovery in the Research Triangle Region are apparent from recent home sales numbers and new home starts.  New construction activity, whether residential, commercial or industrial, is welcome news for our region, but safety remains vitally important, particularly as it relates to construction work that involves digging.  Whether you’re working in the yard at home  or hiring a contractor for your place of business, a little preparation done before any excavation works begins will help ensure the  safety of the public as well as keep your project on track.

At PSNC Energy, we operate and maintain a vast network of underground pipelines for transporting and distributing clean and efficient natural gas service to approximately 500,000 customers. We follow a rigorous inspection and testing schedule for all our equipment and safety devices. We also monitor our pipelines 24 hours a day,365 days a year, and operate our pipelines in accordance with all state and federal regulations.

There’s no question that safety is our highest priority. We work every day to ensure the safety of the public we serve and to ensure the integrity of our pipeline system - but we need your support with this commitment, because third party damage remains the biggest threat to our system.

Dig Safely

If you are planning to dig on your property, no matter how big or small the job, follow these important safety steps:

  • Call before you dig. State law requires that you notify your utilities before you dig. So call North Carolina 811 by dialing 811 to have your underground utilities located for free before you begin any excavation work. When a utility locate request is received by NC811, utilities have two business days beginning at 12:01 A.M. of the next business day to mark their underground facilities.
  • Wait. Technicians will mark the location of utility lines on your property at no cost to you. You can then safely begin your digging project.
  • Respect the markings to ensure your safety.
  • Dig with care. If you accidentally hit a natural gas pipeline, call PSNC Energy immediately at 1-877-776-2427 and 911.   
  • Even if you’re unsure as to whether or not you damaged or dented a gas line – even if it shows no indication of a leak -- call us immediately at 1-877-776-2427 so we can send our personnel to the scene to evaluate the situation.  

And it’s always important to know how to recognize the signs of a natural gas leak. The rotten egg smell is hard to ignore, but there are other signs that may not be as familiar to you.

Signs of a Gas Leak

Natural gas is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic yet flammable substance.  An odor is added to help you detect a potential gas leak.  Signs of a possible natural gas leak are:

  • A rotten egg odor.
  • Discolored or dead vegetation over or near the pipeline.
  • A hissing, whistling or roaring sound near a gas appliance or the pipeline.
  • Dirt or debris being blown into the air.
  • Persistent bubbles in streams, ponds or wet areas.
  • Flames if a leak has ignited.

What to do if a Leak Occurs

If you detect a gas leak:

  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Warn others to stay away.
  • From a safe place, call PSNC Energy at 1-877-776-2427 and call 911.

Remember these additional safety tips when you smell gas:

  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off.
  • Do not turn on or off any electric switch; this could cause a spark and ignite the gas.
  • Do not use your telephone, cell phone, garage door opener or a flashlight.
  • Do not smoke, use a lighter or strike a match.
  • Do not start or stop nearby vehicles or other machinery.

Again, safety is our highest priority at PSNC Energy. Help us keep our system as well as you and your community safety by dialing 811 before you dig.

Author: Jerry O'Keeffe, Manager - Large Accounts, Raleigh & Durham Regions, PSNC Energy

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