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Responding to gas leak emergencies often carries the stigma of a routine service level call. The contrary is true however in that each of these incidents can easily escalate into a major emergency that could involve fire, explosion, collapse, evacuation and any number of serious outcomes. Each of these responses must be treated as true emergencies and be handled with appropriate levels of risk management. There are many types of responses in this category and they all require special attention. Consult your local gas supplier for additional training and resources as well as guidance in operations. The types of responses and suggested actions should be used to discuss your department operations in these areas.
Inside gas leaks, outside gas leaks, and gas fires all have their own specific hazards as well as common ones. Use your company’s natural gas meter or four-gas meter to continually monitor the atmosphere. Wear your full turnout gear and don your SCBA if you are going to enter a potentially hazardous environment. If possible terminate the flow of natural gas at the gas meter if possible. Another topic of discussion for this drill might be addressing the differences between a natural gas leak and a propane leak. Again, each will have common hazards but each present the responder with very specific hazards.
Use your department SOG’s as a base to discuss your response to reports of gas leaks.
The complete drill and sample SOGs can be found at FirefighterCloseCalls.com.