If you are an emergency responder or public official, take steps to safeguard the public in the event of a pipeline emergency. The following suggestions are offered as a guide:
Secure the area around the leak to a safe distance. This could include the evacuation of people from homes, businesses, schools, and other locations, as well as the erection of barricades and similar precautions to control access to the emergency site.
- Contact the pipeline company as quickly as possible. Pipeline marker signs show the pipeline company's name, emergency telephone number and pipeline contents.
- If the pipeline leak is not burning, take steps to prevent ignition. This includes prohibiting smoking, rerouting traffic and shutting off the electricity.
- If the pipeline is burning, try to prevent the spread of fire but do not attempt to extinguish it. If the fire is extinguished, gas or vapor will collect and could explode when reignited by secondary fires.
CenterPoint Energy's actions during an emergency
We will immediately dispatch personnel to the site to help handle the emergency and provide information to public safety officials to aid in their response. We will also take the necessary operating actions to minimize the impact of the emergency. Public safety personnel and other unauthorized personnel should not attempt to operate any of the valves on the pipeline. Improper operation of the pipeline valves could make the situation worse and cause other accidents to happen.