February 7, 2017
WALTHAM, MASS. – With winter in full swing, National Grid is reminding its customers of ways to stay safe this heating season with these important tips on what to do if you suspect a natural gas leak and how to avoid exposure to potentially deadly carbon monoxide. The safety of our customers is always the top priority for National Grid and we ask that you take proper safety precautions to make sure you and your families are safe.
Report Natural Gas Leaks
Like any fuel, natural gas is safe when used properly. In the interest of customer and public safety, National Grid crews continually test, repair and improve the underground system that delivers natural gas, but the possibility does exist for a gas leak in or near your home. Natural gas is odorless, but National Grid adds a harmless substance called mercaptan. Mercaptan has a strong odor similar to that of rotten eggs.
Any natural gas leak is a potentially hazardous situation. If you suspect a natural gas leak, National Grid recommends that you evacuate the premises for your own safety while taking the following immediate actions:
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Safety & Prevention
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can be deadly if left undetected. It is the byproduct of the incomplete burning of fuels such as natural gas, butane, propane, wood, coal, heating oil, kerosene and gasoline. Common sources of carbon monoxide include malfunctioning forced-air furnaces, kerosene space heaters, natural gas ranges, wood stoves, fireplaces and motor vehicle engines. During the heating season when windows and doors are tightly shut, fresh air is sealed out, creating the potential for carbon monoxide to build up over time. National Grid recommends that customers install a government-approved home carbon monoxide detector on every floor.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of the flu. Depending on the amount of carbon monoxide in the air and length of exposure, symptoms may include headaches, weakness, confusion, chest tightness, skin redness, dizziness, nausea, sleepiness, fluttering of the heart or loss of muscle control.
If you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and call 911. Then call the National Grid emergency contact number at 1-800-223-5325 in MA and 1-800-640-1595 in Rhode Island. Do not return to your home until the carbon monoxide source is found. The following are some carbon monoxide prevention tips:
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities' long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).