Natural Gas Safety

Natural gas is one of the safest, most reliable, efficient, and environmentally friendly fuels in use today delivering natural gas for heating, water heating and cooking as well as other natural gas appliances. Pearl River Community College owns and operates the jurisdictional master meter natural gas distribution system on the school’s campus.  The pipeline system has the capacity to reliably deliver natural gas to the buildings on campus.  Like any form of energy, though, it must be handled responsibly.  Always remember safety first when operating natural gas appliances of any kind. 
Natural gas is a nontoxic, colorless, and odorless fuel that is lighter than air.  This lighter-than-air quality is an important safety factor.  If a leak occurs, natural gas will mix readily with air and rise into the atmosphere.  As a safety measure the natural gas that is piped to the campus has a harmless odor similar to rotten eggs so that you can easily detect even the smallest amount of gas that might escape.
From design and construction to operations and maintenance, natural gas utilities like ours set high standards to keep natural gas pipelines incident-free.

Recognizing Natural Gas Hazards
Natural gas incidents are uncommon.  Because natural gas is lighter than air, gas leaking outside usually vents into the atmosphere and dissipates rapidly. Nevertheless, uncontrolled leaking natural gas can pose potential hazards:

  • Escaping natural gas is highly flammable; it can easily ignite and burn.
  • Natural gas can migrate into voids underground and openings, such as sewer lines.
  • Natural gas that has amassed in an area can explode if a spark or other source of ignition occurs.
  • Rupturing a natural gas pipeline also can cause an explosion.
  • Natural gas displaces oxygen in a confined space and can cause asphyxiation.

Recognizing a Gas Leak
You can detect leaking natural gas in a number of ways.
SMELL The distinctive odor that makes natural gas detectable.
LISTEN for a hissing or whistling sound near a gas appliance or a roaring sound near a pipeline.
LOOK  for a dense fog, blowing dirt, a bubbling creek or pond, dry spots in moist areas or dead vegetation near a gas line.

Smelling Natural Gas
Natural gas in its raw state has no smell or color. That’s why we add a “rotten egg” odor to make you aware if gas is leaking.
If you ever smell natural gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave too!
as,ell others to leave, too.

  • Leave any doors open.
  • Do not turn on or off any electric switch; this could cause a spark, igniting the gas.
  • Do not use a cell phone, telephone, garage door opener, doorbell or even a flashlight.
  • Do not smoke, use a lighter or strike a match.
  • Do not start or stop a nearby vehicle or machinery.
  • Do not try to shut off a natural gas valve.

Once you are safely out of the area, call INSERT NAME & PHONE # or call 911. We will send a trained technician immediately to investigate.

Damage Prevention
Although safe, tested, and regulated, the system’s most common hazard is from 3rd party damage from excavation.  Before any excavations are done, contact Dig Safety – Mississippi One-Call System, Inc. 1-800-227-6477 or 811 and call Pearl River Community College at INSERT #. 601-403-1155
Always call before you dig.  It’s as easy as dialing 811, and it’s the law!

Remember -Never try to find the leak yourself!!!

For additional information, contact the Pearl River Community College @ 601-403-1155 or Campus Police 601-403-1300.

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.