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CenterPoint Energy issues natural gas safety tips after the storm
Do not attempt to operate gas valves

MINNEAPOLIS – May 23, 2011 – CenterPoint Energy would like to remind the public of important natural gas safety tips after severe weather.
 “It is very important that residents know what to do when they return home after severe weather and utility damage,” said Dean Headlee, pipeline safety and compliance manager for CenterPoint Energy. “Our customer’s safety is our top priority.  We want our customers to know the steps required before natural gas service can be restored safely to their appliances.”

  • Do not attempt to operate or turn any gas valves. Improper operation of gas valves could make the situation worse.
  • If you smell, hear or see a natural gas leak, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same. Do not drive into or near a gas leak or vapor cloud.
  • Do not turn on or off the lights, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark including a flashlight or generator.
  • Once safely away from the area, call the CenterPoint Energy emergency gas leak hot line at 1-800-296-9815 and 911 to report the location and description of the leak and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician immediately. If the pipeline operator is not known, call 911.
  • CenterPoint Energy is available to assist in interior house piping inspections and safe restoration of natural gas service at no charge.  Home Service Plus (HSP), an offering of CenterPoint Energy, offers repair of natural gas appliances that have damage; however, flood damage is not repairable under the HSP Repair Plan.
  • As you are putting out trash for pickup, please make sure it is placed away from the outside meter.  Trash collectors are using mechanized equipment to pick up heavy
  • debris, and if the debris is near a gas meter, the equipment could pull up the meter damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation.  If this does happen, please leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy.
    For more information about natural gas safety, visit the company’s website at CenterPointEnergy.com/safety.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations.
The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $20 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 800,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.