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CenterPoint Energy issues natural gas safety tips

HOUSTON - Nov. 9, 2009 - As Tropical Storm Ida continues on its path toward the Gulf Coast, CenterPoint Energy is issuing important pre and post storm natural gas safety tips.

Pre-storm:

  • Do not turn off your natural gas at the meter. The gas meter should be left on to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within the house and to prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur.
  • If you wish to discontinue gas service, turn the gas off at each appliance. Later, to restore gas service to an appliance, it is only necessary to follow the written instructions located on the appliance for relighting. If you are unable to locate instructions, call a qualified plumber.

Post-storm:

  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or a gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure it is in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This also includes outdoor gas appliances, such as pool heaters, gas grills, and gas lights.
  • Be alert for leaking gas as you return to your home or businesses to assess damage. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave too.
    • Do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
    • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call CenterPoint Energy.

For more safety tips on how to prepare for or respond to a storm, visit http://www.CenterPointEnergy.com/stormcenter.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & 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 nearly $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years.  For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.