CenterPoint Energy

How to recognize a pipeline emergency

A pipeline emergency could be:

  • A damaged pipeline
  • A fire or explosion near or directly involving a pipeline or pipeline facility
  • A natural disaster affecting the pipeline, such as an earthquake, flood or soil erosion
  • A leaking pipeline

How to recognize a pipeline emergency

LOOK – Persistent bubbling in standing water or discolored vegetation are signs of a possible leak around the pipeline area. A pool of liquid on the ground, a dense white cloud or fog, a slight mist of ice or unexplained frozen ground near the pipeline are also signs of a possible leak.

LISTEN – Listen for any unusual noise like a hissing or roaring sound.

SMELL – Notice any strange or unusual odor (the products will have a petroleum odor or smell like rotten eggs)

Actions to take if you suspect a pipeline leak

    Leave immediately on foot in a crosswind direction away from the leak or vapor cloud and maintain a safe distance. Warn others to stay away from the leak. Abandon any equipment being used in or near the area.
  3. NOTIFY CenterPoint Energy immediately

Call your local CenterPoint Energy emergency number and give your name, the location and a description of the leak. If the pipeline owner is not known, call 911 or your local emergency officials.

AVOID the following:

  • Creating any sparks or heat sources, which could ignite escaping gas or liquids.
  • Starting a vehicle; turning on or off any switches, or lighting a match or cigarette.
  • Operating any pipeline valves.
  • Using a cell phone while near the suspected emergency area.
  • Driving into or near a leak or vapor cloud.
  • Walking into a leak or vapor cloud to turn off equipment.

For more information about pipeline safety in your community, contact CenterPoint Energy Corporate Communications at 713-207-5885.