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Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published September 28, 2012

BGE Reminds Customers to Make Natural Gas Safety a Priority Year-Round and Particularly During Heating Season



BGE Reminds Customers to Make Natural Gas Safety a Priority Year-Round and Particularly During Heating Season

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Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Reminds Customers to Make Natural Gas Safety a Priority Year-Round and Particularly During Heating Season

Customers should understand how to recognize, report and respond to natural gas leaks and help prevent damages to gas pipes and equipment

BALTIMORE, Sept. 28, 2012 – As cooler temperatures approach and heating season brings increased use of natural gas, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) reminds its customers about the importance of natural gas safety. Central Maryland residents are asked to review BGE’s natural gas safety brochure, which was recently distributed to households and businesses in and around BGE’s natural gas service area.

“BGE’s commitment to maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas system begins with educating our customers about living and working safely with this important energy source,” said Robert D. Biagiotti, BGE’s vice president, gas distribution. “With the approach of cooler temperatures, many customers will be increasing their use of natural gas for heating, making it essential that customers focus their attention on natural gas safety. Of course, natural gas is used throughout the year for cooking, hot water and other daily tasks, so a solid understanding of gas safety measures should be a year-round priority for customers.”

BGE would like to remind customers that even households and businesses not served directly by natural gas are in proximity to BGE’s and other operators’ gas equipment. Therefore, it is essential that everyone, customers and non-customers alike, understand how to recognize, report, and respond to natural gas leaks and help prevent damage to the gas system.

BGE’s natural gas safety brochure provides details, in English and Spanish, on how to recognize natural gas leaks, including a scratch-and-sniff mark that reminds customers of the odorant that BGE adds to gas. Gas is naturally odorless. BGE adds an odorant that smells like rotten eggs to make gas detectable by scent. The brochure also provides information on how to report natural gas leaks or emergencies by calling BGE from a safe location, toll-free, 24 hours a day at 1.800.685.0123. BGE will respond promptly and there is no charge to investigate a gas leak.

If you detect a gas leak:
· Leave the building or area immediately and go to a safe place where you can call BGE at 1.800.685.0123.

· Extinguish all open flames. Do not use matches or lighters and do not attempt to light an appliance.

· Do not use any phones, electric switches, thermostats or appliance controls. All of these devices, including battery operated equipment, can cause sparks, and ignite natural gas.

· Do not start any motorized equipment. Turn off and abandon any motorized equipment you may be operating.

· Do not attempt to find the source of the leak or to repair a leak.

BGE also reminds individuals planning on digging for any reason—from home landscaping to large construction jobs—that the majority of the natural gas system and many other utilities are located underground. Unsafe digging is a leading cause of natural gas emergencies. Smart digging means calling Miss Utility at 811 before each job. Digging without calling can disrupt critical services to an entire neighborhood, harm you and those around you and potentially result in penalties and repair costs. By having your utility lines marked, you can help avoid these serious consequences. Call 811 at least two full business days but not more than 10 days prior to digging. For more on safer digging practices, view BGE’s free Dig Smart videos available on bge.com/digsmart.

For more information on natural gas safety and to view an electronic version of BGE’s natural gas safety brochure, visit bge.com/naturalgassafety.

BGE traces its roots to the nation’s first natural gas utility, and today serves more than 650,000 customers with natural gas and operates more than 7,000 miles of underground gas pipes and gas facilities. BGE continuously invests in maintaining and upgrading its extensive natural gas system. An example of such ongoing investment includes a multi-year initiative known as Operation Pipeline, which involves the proactive maintenance and upgrade of the region’s natural gas infrastructure. This initiative focuses on the replacement of hundreds of miles of cast iron and bare steel gas mains with more durable, modern pipes in dozens of communities throughout central Maryland and is essential for maintaining safety and meeting the needs of growing communities. For more information on Operation Pipeline visit bge.com/operationpipeline.

BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship, and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider with approximately $33 billion in annual revenues. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.