Atlanta, Ga. – June 15, 2021 – The Atlantic hurricane season is underway as several tropical systems form. Because 2021 is predicted to be a very active hurricane season, Atlanta Gs Light recommends customers be prepared in the event of any severe weather conditions.
While impacts of COVID-19 may continue through hurricane season, Atlanta Gas Light crews are always prepared and ready to respond to any storm and remain committed to our No. 1 value – Safety First.
Forecasters predict 17 named storms – including eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes – this season, which runs through Nov. 30. But while forecasting is not an exact science, it’s important to keep in mind that just one storm could have a significant impact on homes, property and lives.
That’s why Atlanta Gas Light is providing natural gas customers with the following recommended natural gas safety guidelines for use during a weather emergency:
- DO NOT turn off your gas supply at the main meter. Only Atlanta Gas Light or emergency personnel should turn the valve on or off.
- Leaving natural gas meters on helps to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within homes or businesses and can prevent water from entering the fuel lines should flooding occur.
- Customers are encouraged to know the location of their natural gas meter.
- Following a weather emergency, customers should ensure the natural gas meter is visible, and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used after the storm to clean up a location may damage the meter if it is hidden.
- If a natural gas meter is damaged or an underground gas line is exposed, customers should immediately leave the area, and call 911 or the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-877-427-4321 from a safe location.
Appliance Safety Before and After the Storm
- Customers are advised to leave their natural gas service operational during a hurricane or severe storm. Most modern gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of natural gas automatically with a loss of gas pressure or flooding of the appliances.
- Electronic ignition appliances will not come on when the power source has been impacted.
- If you are uncomfortable leaving your appliances operational, contact a trained professional (certified plumber or HVAC rep) to shut off your appliances at the cutoff valves. When it is safe to do so, have them return to turn the valves back on, leak test the line and turn on to test the appliance for safe operation.
- If flooding occurs at a residence or business and the gas appliances are underwater, customers are advised not to operate their appliances until a safety inspection is conducted by a certified plumber or HVAC representative.
- Strong winds and saturated ground could cause trees to become uprooted. Before removing downed trees, customers should contact Georgia 811 to have the location of underground utility lines marked since downed trees could become tangled with natural gas lines.
- If a natural gas meter is damaged or a natural gas line is exposed, customers should immediately leave the area and call 911 or the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-877-427-4321 from a safe location
Detecting Gas Leaks
- If customers smell the distinctive “rotten-egg” odor associated with natural gas, they should leave the area immediately and move a safe distance away from the potential leak, while avoiding any action that may cause sparks.
- Look for blowing dirt, discolored vegetation or continued bubbling in standing water.
- Customers should never try to identify the source of a leak or stop the leak themselves.]
- Avoid using any sources of ignition, such as cell phones, cigarettes, matches, flashlights, electronic devices, motorized vehicles, light switches or landlines, as natural gas can ignite from a spark, possibly causing a fire or explosion.
- Customers should call the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency response line at 1-877-427-4321 or 911 once they are in a safe place out of the area of the suspected leak. They should also stay away until Atlanta Gas Light or emergency personnel indicates it is safe to return.
- Generators can be useful after a storm but dangerous if not properly used. The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution and fire.
- NEVER use a generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces.
- NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.”
- Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
- During a power outage, natural gas generators provide continuous fuel supply from an existing natural gas line. While these units are available in a range of sizes to meet various energy needs, customers are encouraged to contact Atlanta Gas Light before purchase and installation to determine whether their service line and meter meet load requirements for the generator’s safe and efficient operation.
About Atlanta Gas Light
Atlanta Gas Light is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Atlanta Gas Light provides natural gas delivery service to more than 1.6 million customers in Georgia. In operation since 1856, the company is one of the oldest corporations in the state. For more information, visit atlantagaslight.com.
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