Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities


Incidents Old and defective appliance connectors were the subject of a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission letter* to chief executives and utility managers. The letter was prompted by incidents such as the following: • A mother and two small children were severely burned in a home natural gas explosion. A broken fuel line for the kitchen range had been taped over to stop an apparent leak. Two days prior to the explosion, a neighbor reported the smell of natural gas and a hissing sound coming from the meter at the house. The gas company did not send a representative to investigate. • A gas company service technician was dispatched to turn on a meter for a mobile home. Upon inspection, he found that the appliances were designed for use with propane fuel. He did not hook up the appliances, but left the natural gas on at the meter. The next day, an explosion resulted, with one fatality and severe burns and scars to an 8-year-old girl. The explosion occurred as a result of natural gas escaping from an uncapped line under the trailer. Educating the public about proper inspection and protection of interior piping and appropriate appliance connectors can enhance indoor natural gas safety and avert similar incidents related to this equipment. Additionally, many natural gas operators have the opportunity to observe and, if qualified, correct dangerous situations involving piping and connections when they enter customer premises, light pilots, service natural gas appliances, or otherwise witness natural gas appliance installation and operation. * Letter to Chief Executives and Utility Managers, from Ann Brown, Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, September 2, 1997

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