MINNEAPOLIS – May, 23 2012 – CenterPoint Energy would like to remind the public of important natural gas safety tips to follow when there is severe weather.
“Knowing how to respond to an emergency and planning ahead of a storm can make all the difference in the aftermath of severe weather,” said Dean Headlee, pipeline safety and compliance manager for CenterPoint Energy. “We want our customers to have the information they need ahead of inclement weather.”
• Following a severe storm, be alert for leaking gas. 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Do not attempt to turn any gas valves. Improper operation of gas valves could make the situation worse.
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 $21 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.