Emergency: Hitting a Natural Gas Line
How to avoid this dangerous mistake next time you dig.
If you don’t know the location of underground utilities, even simple outdoor projects can become major safety hazards. Protect yourself and your neighbors by having lines located before you start digging, and know what to do if you hit a gas line.
Call before you dig
Even minor outdoor projects, such as setting a mailbox post, should wait until you’ve checked the locations of underground utilities. Some may be buried just inches beneath the soil surface. To avoid injury, costly delays and expensive repairs, contact your local One Call Center or call the national referral hotline at 1-888-258-0808 to have underground utility lines marked, at no cost to you.
Damaging a pipeline can cause an explosion. Signs that you’ve hit a gas line include:
- Feeling the shovel strike
- Seeing a bare line
- Hearing a hissing sound
- Smelling a rotten-egg scent
If you do break a gas line, follow these tips:
- Move away from the site
- Extinguish any flames, including cigarettes
- Immediately call your utility company’s emergency number or 911