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Customers reminded about natural gas safety this heating season

10/28/2016, 6 a.m.
Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures this month, the cold weather is quickly approaching.

— Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures this month, the cold weather is quickly approaching. Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) would like to remind customers to familiarize themselves with the natural gas safety tips provided in BGE’s natural gas safety brochure which is being distributed to homes and businesses in and around BGE’s natural gas area. Customers should also have their heating systems checked and inspected by a qualified technician to ensure safe and efficient operation for the heating season.

“BGE is dedicated to maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas system. Just as BGE prepares for the heating season, we urge customers who utilize natural gas to heat their homes and businesses to prepare as well,” said Christie McMullen, vice president gas distribution for BGE. “BGE’s natural gas safety brochure educates our customers on living and working safely around natural gas, pipelines and facilities.”

BGE’s natural gas safety brochure will be mailed to all customers. The brochure provides information in English and Spanish, detailing how to recognize and report natural gas leaks. Additionally, a scratch-and-sniff odor indicator is included that reminds customers about “mercaptan,” a safety additive that BGE and other utilities put in natural gas to give it a distinctive rotten egg odor that makes gas easier to detect. Captain Mercaptan, BGE’s natural gas safety hero who provides simple tips to children and their families about natural gas safety, derives his name from the safety additive. If you detect a gas leak:

·Leave the building or area immediately and go to a safe place where you can call BGE, toll free, 24 hours a day 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 or turn off vehicles or motorized equipment. Abandon any motorized equipment you may be operating.

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

·When you call, BGE will respond promptly to survey the area, perform safety measures, and repair BGE’s equipment. There is no charge to investigate a gas leak.

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