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RESPONSE TO NATURAL GAS EMERGENCIES
S.O.G. 500-97-2
Browndale Fire Co. 
Fire Station 43 
Standard Operating Guidelines  

Date of Issue: 1-1-98 
Effective Date: 1-31-98 
Developed By: Earl Obelenus 
Issued by Authority of: Earl Obelenus, Fire Chief 

RESPONSE TO NATURAL GAS EMERGENCIES 
S.O.G. 500-97-2 

I. PURPOSE 

To establish guidelines for response to natural gas emergencies. 

II. SCOPE 

All fire department personnel. 

III. RESPONSIBILTY 

The fire chief is responsible to insure appropriate response to natural gas emergencies. 

Fireground officers are responsible to insure appropriate actions are taken to resolve the natural gas emergency. Firefighters are responsible to adhere to the procedures established within this guideline. 

IV. BACKROUND 

Until recently, natural gas service was not available for residential or commercial use in our first due area. Natural gas lines have been installed and it is anticipated the use of natural gas as a fuel source will increase in the future. 
Natural gas is a colorless, odorless gas. An odorant is added by the gas company. It is lighter than air and will rise if escaping under pressure. The flammable limits of natural gas are 4% to 14%. It produces 1000BTU’s per cubic foot. 

V. PROCEDURES 

1. Upon being dispatched to a natural gas emergency, the officer-in-charge (OIC) will insure a full first alarm fire and EMS assignment has been dispatched. 

2. The first in engine will approach the area with caution. All other apparatus will stage approximately one (1) block away from the area to await assignments. Command will be established. If medical attention is required, the EMS officer will coordinate the appropriate treatment. Once the OIC has determined the nature of the emergency and the services required, he may direct and place apparatus outside the “hot zone” . To determine the “hot zone” the OIC shall refer to the “ North American Emergency Response Handbook”. 
 

3. ESCAPING GAS OUTSIDE A STRUCTURE 
 The OIC will: 

A. Determine the nature of escaping gas. Ordinarily this will be done by sensing obvious odor and the sound of escaping gas. 
B. Insure the gas company is notified by contacting the communications center. 
C. Restrict access to the area. 
D. Eliminate ignition sources. 
E. Secure flow if possible by shutting the master shut cock near the meter.

4. ESCAPING GAS INSIDE A STRUCTURE 
 
The OIC will: 

A. Determine the nature of the escaping gas. Ordinarily this will be done by sensing the obvious odor and the sound of escaping gas. 
B. Insure the gas company is notified by contacting the communications center. 
C. Shut off the flow of gas to the structure by shutting of the master shut cock at the meter. 
D. Insure ventilation is initiated using natural ventilation. 
E. Insure personnel do not operate any electrical switches. 
F. Insure personnel are in full protective clothing and SCBA. 
G. Insure to have a safety line, in place and charged. NO smaller than 13/4”


5. BURNING GAS OUTSIDE A STRUCTURE 
           
The OIC will: 

A. Protect exposures and recognize the high radiant heat hazard 
B. Secure the supply of gas by shutting the master shut cock.


6. BURNING GAS INSIDE A STUCTURE 
The OIC will: 

A. Shut off the flow of gas and extinguish the fire. 
B. Protect the exposures. 
C. Shut off the gas to any meters that were exposed to high heat. 
D. Shut off gas to appliance, if only appliance is involved.
7. No attempt will be made by fire department personnel to re-light appliances, furnaces or any other natural gas supplied device. The OIC will advise the owner/occupant to contact a certified repairman or the gas company to insure the system/appliance is suitable to return to service. 

VI. SUPERSEDED GUIDELINE 

This is a new guideline on this subject matter. It does not supersede any previous memo or guideline. 
Reviewed 07-01-07
 

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