GAS DISASTER – 80 Homes Explode / Burn in New England Valley – PSE&G Sends 50 Employees to Aid Columbia Gas
(NEWARK, N.J. – September 14, 2018) Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, is sending 45 gas service technicians and 6 gas supervisors to assist Columbia Gas of Massachusetts as they work to ensure the continued safety of area residents in the wake of yesterday’s fires.
“Our hearts and thoughts are with the families who are suffering and with all those affected by this tragedy,” said Joe Forline, PSE&G vice president of gas operations. “Safety is the highest priority in our industry. Our service technicians quickly responded to the call to provide support to Columbia Gas employees as they investigate the cause and work to restore service.”
The PSE&G employees expect to arrive in the Boston area tonight and stay for about three days, assisting with response efforts.
“We’ll also monitor the situation closely for what we can learn and to help ensure this doesn’t happen again anywhere in the gas industry,” Forline said. “PSE&G has an excellent safety record of protecting our employees and customers, and is committed to ensuring the continued safety of our system.”
PSE&G responds to reports of gas leaks 24 hours a day within 60 minutes to make the area safe and repair any damaged infrastructure. We also run regular leak surveys, focusing in particular on the areas where our cast iron mains are located. We encourage excavators to call 811 before they dig.
PSE&G also supports a safe, clean and reliable gas network through the accelerated replacing of aging pipes, under our Gas System Modernization Program. By the end of 2018, some 450 miles of cast iron and unprotected steel pipes will have been replaced with modern ones. Another 875 miles of pipes are scheduled to be replaced, starting in 2019 through 2023.
What to do if you smell gas:
- If you smell gas, hear hissing or suspect a leak — act fast.
- Leave your home immediately and take others with you. When outside, get far away (at least 350 feet) from where you suspect the gas is leaking.
- Open windows before you leave, if the odor is faint.
- Call PSE&G at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734), or call 911.
If you suspect a gas leak do NOT:
- Attempt to determine the source of the odor.
- Light a match.
- Turn appliances and flashlights on or off.
- Start a car.
- Use a telephone or cell phone.
- Ring a doorbell.
More gas safety tips are available on our website: nj.pseg.com/safetyandreliability/gassafety