First Responders

IMPORTANT NATURAL GAS SAFETY and EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS RESOURCES.

Emergency Preparedness

In an emergency, SoCalGas® focuses on the safety of our employees, customers, community and first responders by getting the natural gas under control. Police and Fire First Responders can assist us in our efforts by protecting the public and isolating or removing ignition sources, if it is safe to do so. Advance knowledge of where pipelines are located in your community, the products transported in them, and how to contact and work together with the pipeline operator in the event of an incident, are key factors to an effective and safe response. When responding to a natural gas pipeline emergency, make sure your dispatch calls our emergency number at (213) 244-8900.

Incident Response Checklist

1. Assess the situation and do not use any device that could cause a spark, and do not attempt to control the leak or repair a damaged pipe/meter. Natural gas leaking from a plastic pipe can create static electricity that can ignite.

2. Protect the public by isolating and securing the area.

3. Contact the pipeline operator for SoCalGas at (213) 244-8900

4. Work together with the pipeline operator

Key Steps For Emergency Responders

911 Operator

  • Obtain as much information from the calling party
    • What type of incident is taking place (inside natural gas odor, outside natural gas odor, natural gas line damaged by a contractor)
  • Provide the information gathered of the incident to the first responder agencies
  • Contact SoCalGas as soon as possible and provide all applicable information for the incident
  • Ask to speak to or request a call back from the responding SoCalGas supervisor if needed

Fire Agency

  • Approach the incident cautiously and stay upwind
  • Only attempt to control ignition sources if it’s safe to do so
  • DO NOT operate main line natural gas valves
  • DO NOT attempt to control blowing gas 
  • Lightly foam the damaged natural gas leak area to prevent static electricity

Law Enforcement

  • Create a safety perimeter
  • Work with SoCalGas personal on evacuating surrounding buildings
  • Evacuate the public 150-300 feet or more if necessary
  • Assist with road closures and traffic detours

Emergency Medical Services

  • Verify the safety of the building prior to entering
  • Provide medical assistance as needed

Emergency Management

  • Activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) if needed
  • Coordinate with local, state and federal agencies
  • Contact SoCalGas if the incident calls for the need
  • Request SoCalGas fill the liaison position in county EOC if needed

Pipeline Operators

  • Respond to the incident as soon as notification has been made
  • Report to the fire and law enforcement command post and become part of unified command
  • Monitor the area for natural gas indications
  • Isolate the pipeline if requested
  • Mitigate all pipeline damage

Buried Pipeline Emergencies

Pipeline Association for Public Awareness Emergency Response Guidelines:

Many types of emergency situations can affect buried pipelines. These include train derailments, floods, earthquakes, forest fires, structure collapses, and other similar events where earth has been disturbed or will be moved as part of the response efforts. In these situations, pipeline companies should be notified as soon as possible so they can monitor and verify the integrity of nearby pipelines. First responders may be able to notify pipeline operators of the emergency by calling 811 and informing the One-Call Center of the situation. If the call center procedures allow these types of notifications, all operators with buried pipelines in the area will be notified. Coordination with pipeline operators during these types of emergency situations will help protect the safety of the response team and also the surrounding community.

Recognize a Natural Gas Leak

Be aware of signs you may see, hear or smell when there is a leak.

  •  

    Look

    Look

    If you see a damaged connection to a natural gas appliance, dirt/water blowing into the air, a dry patch of grass, fire or an explosion near a pipeline.
  •  

    Listen

    Listen

    If you hear unusual sounds like hissing or whistling.
  •  

    Smell

    Smell

    If you smell the distinctive odor[1] of natural gas.

 

[1] Some persons may not be able to smell the odor because they have a diminished sense of smell, olfactory fatigue (normal, temporary inability to distinguish an odor after prolonged exposure to it), a temporary loss of smell due to COVID-19, or because the odor is being masked or hidden by other odors that are present, such as cooking, damp, musty or chemical odors. In addition, certain pipeline and soil conditions can cause odor fade (the loss of odorant so that it is not detectable by smell).

Locate Major Pipelines Near You

Most pipelines are buried underground. Pipeline markers identify the approximate locations of major pipelines and include our emergency number. Markers do not indicate the depth or number of pipelines in the area. You can view the approximate locations of major natural gas pipelines at socalgas.com/Map or on the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) website at npms.phmsa.dot.gov.

These maps only indicate the general location of pipelines and should never be used as a substitute for contacting 811 at least two working days before digging.
  • Red: Electric
  • Yellow: Natural Gas, oil, steam
  • Orange: Communications
  • Blue: Water
  • Purple: Reclaimed water
  • Green: Sewer
  • Pink: Temporary markings
  • White: Proposed excavation

Provide Clear Access To Pipelines

To keep our communities safe, we must be able to access our pipeline right-of-way to perform important safety inspections and respond to pipeline emergencies. Our pipeline right-of-way must be clear of obstructions such as shrubs, trees, fences and other structures.

Pipeline Purpose & Reliability

Our pipelines deliver natural gas to approximately 22 million residential and business customers. We routinely patrol, test, repair and replace our natural gas pipelines. Our employees also undergo ongoing technical training and testing. We monitor natural gas for quality and add a distinctive odor to aid in the detection of leaks. We also maintain an ongoing relationship with emergency response officials in order to prepare for and respond to any pipeline emergency.

For more information on our integrity management plan outline, visit socalgas.com/pipelinesafety.