19 named storms and 9 hurricanes are predicted this hurricane season

Hurricane Season is upon us, and this year forecasters are predicting 19 named storms and nine hurricanes.

Atlanta Gas Light is reminding customers in areas most likely to be impacted by strong storms of a few safety tips for hurricane season from your gas meter to your gas appliances.

The company offers the below natural gas safety tips for customers to remember:

Meter Safety

  • Know the location of your natural gas meter.
  • Do not attempt to turn off your gas supply at the meter. Only Atlanta Gas Light or emergency personnel should turn the valve on or off.
    • Leaving natural gas meters on helps to maintain proper pressure in the gas lines. It also can prevent water from entering the fuel lines should flooding occur.
  • Following severe weather, make sure your natural gas meter is visible, and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used during storm clean-up could damage the meter if it is hidden.
  • If your natural gas meter is damaged or an underground gas line is exposed, leave the area immediately and call 911 or the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency response line at 1-877-427-4321 from a safe location.

Appliance Safety – Before and After the Storm

  • Leave your natural gas appliances connected in severe weather. Most modern gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of natural gas automatically if there is a loss of gas pressure or flooding of the appliances.
  • If you are not comfortable leaving your appliances connected, contact a certified plumber or HVAC representative to shut off your appliances at the cutoff valves. When it is safe to do so, have them return to turn the valves back on, leak test the line and ensure the appliance is safe to operate.
  • If flooding occurs at your property and the gas appliances are underwater, please do not use the appliances until a safety inspection is conducted by a certified plumber or HVAC representative.

Damage Prevention

  • Intense winds and saturated ground can cause trees to become uprooted. Contact Georgia 811 to request that the underground utility lines be marked. This is important because the tree roots could become tangled with utility lines.
  • If a natural gas meter is damaged or a natural gas line is exposed, please immediately leave the area and call 911 or the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency response line at 1-877-427-4321 from a safe location.

Detecting Gas Leaks

  • If you smell the distinctive “rotten-egg” odor associated with natural gas, leave the area immediately and move away from the potential leak.
  • Look for blowing dirt, discolored vegetation or continued bubbling in standing water.
  • Never try to identify the source of a leak or stop the leak on your own.
  • Avoid using any sources of ignition, such as cell phones, cigarettes, matches, flashlights, electronic devices, motorized vehicles, light switches or landlines, as natural gas can ignite from a spark and cause a fire or explosion.
  • Call the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency response line at 1-877-427-4321 or 911 once you are in a safe location away from potential leak.

Generator Safety

  • Generators can be helpful after a storm but dangerous if not used properly. The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electric shock or electrocution and fire.
  • Never use a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space.
  • Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.”
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
  • During a power outage, natural gas generators provide continuous fuel supply from an existing natural gas line. While these units are available in a range of sizes to meet various energy needs, please contact Atlanta Gas Light prior to the purchase and installation to determine whether their service line and meter meet load requirements for the generator’s safe and efficient operation.

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