BALTIMORE, MD – June is National Safety Month, and Baltimore Gas and Electric is taking the opportunity to remind local residents about the importance of natural gas and electric safety. While BGE’s top priority is always the safety of its employees and customers, it’s important that customers understand their role in energy safety as well.
Natural gas is colorless, tasteless, and odorless in its natural state. An additive, known as mercaptan, is added to natural gas to give it a rotten egg odor so it is easier to detect. Anyone who smells gas, inside or outside, is advised to leave the area immediately and call BGE at 1-877-778-7798 or 1-800-685-0123. BGE answers emergency gas service calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. BGE also reminds customers there is no charge to investigate or repair a reported gas leak involving BGE equipment.
If BGE identifies a leak on customer-owned equipment (e.g., internal piping and gas-fed appliances located after the gas meter), BGE may need to interrupt gas service to make the area safe. The customer would be required to hire a licensed plumber to make repairs to their gas equipment in order for gas service to be restored.
For electric safety, BGE reminds customers who see downed electrical wires to stay away, warn others, and call BGE immediately at 1-877-778-2222 or 1-800-685-0123. Always assume overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never touch any wires and always stay at least 10 feet away from overhead wires when engaging in activities nearby.
Customers should also be aware that if an overhead wire falls across a vehicle being driven, all persons should stay inside the vehicle and the vehicle should be driven away from the downed wire. If the engine stalls, do not leave the vehicle. Call 911 immediately and warn others to stay away from the vehicle and the wire.
Customers and contractors should always survey the area before starting any remodeling or home improvement work. Before digging for any project, call Miss Utility at 811 at least two full business days in advance of work to arrange for any utility lines to be marked. BGE reminds customers to check for the presence of overhead wires, avoid touching anything that may be in contact with a wire (e.g., tree limbs or other debris), keep ladders and other tools at least 10 feet away from power lines, and keep electric tools and appliances away from wet surfaces (e.g., pools and patios).
BGE employees and contractors regularly work on or around roads and highways. These work zones can be extremely dangerous if motorists are inattentive or do not practice safe driving procedures. For the safety of the public, BGE employees and contractors, please respect coned-off areas. In addition:
- Watch for signage, barriers, and vehicle lights;
- Stay alert and minimize distractions;
- Obey posted speed limits;
- If a flagger is present, obey their directions;
- Pay attention to posted signs; and
- Do not tailgate.
The most common work zone accident is rear-end crashes. Be patient and remain calm in and around work zones. As a reminder, Maryland’s “Move Over” law now applies to utility vehicles as well as law enforcement.
As part of BGE’s safety commitment, the company has a public safety advertising campaign to educate those who work around overhead and underground power lines, hosts numerous safety education events, and provides information to customers and contractors each year in bill inserts and informational mailings.
For more safety information, visit bge.com/safety. Customers with any questions may contact BGE’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-685-0123.