Underground pipelines transport natural gas and account for nearly 25% of our nation’s energy use. We use this energy to heat and cool our homes, to cook and clean, as well as to power manufacturing plants throughout the country.
Liquid and gas pipelines are buried underground throughout all 50 states. Over 2.5 million miles of pipeline exist in the United States, and these pipelines are operated by over 3,000 different companies. Gas distribution channels make up an underground network, and it’s critical to understand where the pipelines are before ever digging into the ground. Digging without permission could mean striking a pipeline and causing an explosion. Before you dig, call 811 or dial 1-888-258-0808 to confirm that there aren’t any pipelines at your location and it’s safe to dig.
According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), there were 701 natural gas pipeline incidents reported in 2015. The number of annual incidents has increased significantly since the late 1990s, when the number of incidents reached a low of 389. Even though there have been nearly double the incidents in 2015 as in the late 1990s, the good news is that the number of fatalities and injuries has decreased.
PHMSA Pipeline Incidents: Count (1996-2015)  Incident Type: All Reported System Type: ALL
Data Source: US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Although relatively infrequent, natural gas leaks can occur in or around the home. If you notice any of the following, you should leave the location immediately and dial 911.
- “Rotten egg” odor which is added to natural gas
- Hissing sound near appliances
- Bubbles, mist, or fog near ponds
- Dirt blowing without wind
- Dry spots amidst green plants close to gas line markers
If you think there may be a gas leak, do not turn anything on or off, including lights and flashlights. Stay away from any gas valves and matches. Don’t use your phone nor take pictures. And don’t turn on your vehicle to avoid sparks or an explosion.
Most gas leaks are resolved quickly by the gas company emergency experts. However, gas leaks can result in serious fires and explosions. If you or someone you know has experienced an injury related to a natural gas leak, seek medical help immediately and then contact an experienced law firm to help you understand your rights.
Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work. Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.