Natural gas is highly combustible and, therefore, extremely hazardous. Without it, however, furnaces, boilers, gas stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, air conditioning systems, and a lot of other things will not be able to function. This is why about 657 billion cubic meters or 657,000 liters of natural gas is used in homes and offices (all throughout the U.S.) annually.
The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a branch of the Department of Transportation, says that pipes used to distribute natural gas extend more than two million miles through cities. These pipes connect natural gas distribution sites to consumer sites. In order to help ensure total safety and avoidance of accidents, such as leaks, which can very well lead to an explosion, distribution companies implement safety programs, such as:
- One Call System, which refers to the “call-before-you-dig” 811 telephone number. Contractors, excavators and customers should know this number, which needs to be contacted before any digging (for pipeline installation), is made. This is to make sure that no facility or other pipeline is damaged in the digging process;
- Emergency Preparedness, which is a way that will help make sure that distribution companies and local utilities are prepared for any possible natural disaster. These distribution outlets are necessitated to participate in local emergency preparedness and community programs;
- Technicians on Call, a program which makes sure that, in the event of problems, like leaks, a group of well trained technicians can be relied on 24/7;
- Safety Education Programs, which are aimed at making sure that customers are informed through seminars held in community centers, schools and other associations about natural gas safety procedures; they are also told what measures to take during emergencies; and,
- Leak Detection Equipment, which include the latest leak detection tools and equipment that will enable distribution companies to detect and immediately locate leaks in the distribution network. Natural gas odorants are also used to make leak detection easier and faster.
Unmaintained pipes and unchecked leaks can result to explosion accidents, the effects of which can be severe, even deadly. It is not hard for the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® to identify the great and serious threats posed by an explosion accident due to its first hand knowledge of the severity of injuries suffered by those who have been victims of it. Though the tragic effects of an explosion can never be undone, said law firm explains that, if any of these catastrophic incidents can be proven as a result of someone’s negligence, such as a property owner or a product manufacturer, then such person or party may be held accountable for his/her carelessness. The victim, on the other hand, may be eligible to pursue financial compensation for all present and future damages he/she may suffer due to the injury