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Southern California Gas Company - Pipeline Safety

Post Date:09/19/2019 2:49 PM

Southern California Gas Company uses pipelines to deliver natural gas to help warm your home, heat your water, manufacture goods and more. Natural gas is monitored for quality, and a distinctive odor is added to aid in the detection of leaks. 

SoCalGas routinely patrol, test, repair and replace natural gas pipelines, which require clear access to pipelines. Pipeline right-of-ways must be clear of obstructions, such as shrubs, trees, fences, and other structures. Additionally, employees have ongoing technical training and testing. 

SoCalGas also maintains a relationship with emergency response officials to prepare for and respond to any pipeline emergency.

Recognize and Respond to a Natural Gas Leak

There are a number of different ways to identify a potential natural gas leak. Be aware of signs you may see, hear or smell when there’s a natural gas leak.

Look for a damaged connection to a natural gas appliance, dirt/water blowing into the air, dry patch of grass, fire or explosion near a pipeline.

Listen for unusual sounds like hissing, whistling or roaring.

Smell the distinctive odor of natural gas.


Don’t Rely on Just Your Nose

Although a distinctive odor is added to make natural gas easy to recognize, you may not be able to smell leaking gas if:
  • You have a diminished sense of smell
  • You’re experiencing odor fatigue (normal, temporary inability to distinguish an odor after prolonged exposure to it)
  • You have a physical condition such as a common cold, sinus condition or allergies
  • You use tobacco, alcohol, drugs and certain medications
  • The odor is masked or hidden by other odors that are present
  • Pipe and soil conditions have caused odor fade

look listen smell video

Click Here for Video 

Suspect a Natural Gas Leak?

  • Remain calm.
  • Immediately evacuate the area.
  • Don’t smoke or light a match, candle or other flames. Static electricity can ignite leaking gas.
  • Don’t use machinery, turn electric appliances or lights on or off, or use any device that could cause a spark.
  • Don't attempt to control the leak.
  • Call 911.
  • Contact SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Locate Major Pipelines Near You

The approximate locations of major natural gas pipelines can be found online at National Pipeline Mapping System or on SoCalGas also places yellow pipeline markers next to major pipelines near intersections or railway crossings to identify approximate locations of their lines and provide an emergency phone number.


For more information, visit

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