Ameren providing free natural gas safety training to Columbia Fire Department

Ameren providing free natural gas safety training to Columbia Fire Department

Alyssa Toomey – Aug 16, 2017 11:39 AM CDT

Members of the Columbia Fire Department received free natural gas safety training from Ameren Missouri Wednesday.

The training covered gas safety, including how to identify the signs of a gas leak and the basic steps emergency responders should take to minimize potential hazards.

Most recently, a gas leak caused Route VV in Boone County to close. Crews on scene told ABC 17 News that they hit a main line that was marked incorrectly.

Ameren says any type of excavation poses the greatest threat to a gas system.

“Excavation is the major threat to a gas system and excavation around any utility line is very serious and needs to be done very cautiously,” Dennis Bennett, prevention and public awareness supervisor for Ameren, told ABC 17 News.

He said anyone planning to dig must call the Missouri One Call System. “Twenty-five percent of the damages we do have come from people who do not call a Missouri One call ticket.”

The fire department says calls for a gas leak can tie up important resources.

“It can typically tie up multiple fire companies for an extended period of time,” Columbia Assistant Fire Chief Brad Frazier said.

They’re also incredibly dangerous for firefighters. “They’re very dangerous like a lot of calls we respond to–the potential is great for explosion,” Frazier said.

If you do smell gas–which has an odor like rotten eggs–the fire department says to call 911 and evacuate immediately.

Ameren Missouri provides natural gas to 130,000 customers in Missouri.

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