Safety Reminders for Purging Natural Gas Lines
When preparing natural gas pipes, regulators, appliances, equipment and apparatus for service, or returning them to service, do not purge their contents into a confined space or where natural gas can accumulate.
Any purging of natural gas, or purging of air or other contents with natural gas, should only be done in a well-ventilated area or by safely venting the contents into the outside atmosphere where there are no people, animals, structures or sources of ignition present.
Before purging, make sure you identify and eliminate all sources of ignition where natural gas may be vented, recognizing that natural gas is lighter than air and will rise. Sources of ignition include:
- Standing pilots
- Open flames
- Cigarettes and other smoking products
- Electric light switches and appliances
- Motorized equipment and vehicles
- Temperatures above 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Anything that may cause a spark
Use natural gas detection equipment during all natural gas release operations to prevent natural gas from accumulating and creating a combustible or hazardous atmosphere. DO NOT rely on your sense of smell alone to be alerted the presence of natural gas.
The National Fuel Gas Code, the California Plumbing and Mechanical Codes, applicable Building and Safety Codes, and local Departments of Building and Safety should be consulted for more information and before any natural gas release operations begin. Also see the Chemical Safety Board's Safety Bulletin .* When installing natural gas appliances and/or equipment, the manufacturer's instruction manual should be followed in conjunction with the local code authority.
DO NOT RELEASE THE CONTENTS OF A NATURAL GAS LINE INTO A CONFINED SPACE. ANY RELEASE OF NATURAL GAS PRESENTS THE POTENTIAL FOR EXPLOSION AND FIRE THAT COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY AND DEATH. PURGING AND OTHER RELEASES OF NATURAL GAS REQUIRE EXTREME CAUTION AND SHOULD ONLY BE PERFORMED BY QUALIFIED NATURAL GAS PROFESSIONALS.
Learn how to recognize and respond to a natural gas leak.