The purpose of natural gas pipelines is to carry one of the world's most efficient and environmentally-friendly fuels to businesses and homes like yours. These pipelines help meet the energy needs of the region. According to federal statistics, pipelines are the nation's safest and most reliable energy transportation system. Although gas incidents are rare, this mode of transportation does carry some hazards should a release occur. These risks may include ignition, fire, and explosion; which can significantly impact both property and/or life. For this reason, Beaches Energy Services considers a natural gas leak first priority emergencies. We train extensively on leak response and liaison with First Responders on how to effectively respond to pipeline emergencies. These ongoing relationships help prevent incidents and assure preparedness for emergencies, should they occur.
High Consequence Areas and Integrity Management
Per federal regulations, Beaches Energy Services denotes certain parts of the pipeline as High Consequence Areas (HCAs). These are generally places with a large number of people congregated along Beaches Energy's transmission pipeline system. In addition, Beaches Energy has an Integrity Management Program that details the safety measures required to keep our pipelines safe. These safety measures include scheduled corrosion inspections and control, leak survey, valves to isolate sections of the pipeline, and the use of leak detection equipment. Beaches Energy Services is committed to safety. That's why we follow state and federal regulations, as well as perform extensive quality control checks. We also work to educate residents about how to recognize and prevent natural gas leaks.
Be aware of the signs of a pipeline leak
Natural gas is lighter than air and may pose a hazard, especially if released in confined spaces. It's important to be able to identify signs of a natural gas leak, especially the rotten egg-like odor that natural gas gives off. Near a gas line, watch for blowing dirt, bubbling water, dry spots in moist areas or dead plants surrounded by live, green plants. Listen for a hissing sound. All of these things could mean there is a natural gas leak nearby. If you suspect a leak, leave immediately - don't try to find or stop the leak. Don't touch anything electrical before you leave or use a telephone, even a cell phone. Don't smoke, don't turn appliances or lights on or off, and don't operate any vehicle or equipment that could create a spark. Once you are out of the suspected area, immediately call 904-247-6171. If the smell of natural gas is particularly strong, call 9-1-1.
How to spot pipelines in your area
Beaches Energy Services installs yellow pipeline markers along the route of the pipeline including at road crossings, fence lines and street intersections. Pipeline markers show the name of the owner of the pipeline, the product contained in the pipeline and the number to call in case of an emergency. Please note that pipeline markers indicate that a gas facility is in the general area and are not necessarily placed directly over the pipeline nor do they indicate the depth of the pipeline. In areas of high density such as residential areas and downtown districts pipeline markers may not be present; however, gas pipelines may be located within the rights of way of streets and roadways. Be aware that unauthorized infringements on pipeline rights-of-way inhibit our ability to respond, perform routine maintenance, provide surveillance, respond to third party damage, and perform required federal and state inspections.
Prevent damage to pipelines
Florida law requires anyone working on a project that involves digging of any kind - whether they own the property where the digging is taking place or not-to call 8-1-1 two full business days before digging starts. Trained professionals will visit the property where digging will occur to locate and mark all underground utility lines. The service is free and the message is simple: CALL BEFORE YOU DIG. For more information, visit sunshine811.com.
Visit www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov for information on pipeline operators in your area. For additional information about natural gas safety, visit http^www.beache-senergy.com/natural-gas-safety or call 904-247-6171.