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Recognising and Responding to Gas Leaks

Recognising Gas Leaks

A natural gas leak can be detected by sight, sound, or smell.

Sight: fire emitted from or on the ground, discoloured vegetation, bubbling water, dry cracked soil, steam-like cloud, debris ejected from a hole in the ground, or mechanical damage on the pipeline.

Sound: a loud hissing, whistling, or roaring sound.

Smell: dry natural gas transported by ICGB is odorless. Any other smell is irrelevant to the ICGB natural gas transmission.

Responding to a pipeline leak

If a pipeline leak is suspected, it’s essential that any actions are undertaken, such as during an emergency response (either by emergency services, pipeline operator, or subcontractors), will ensure that NO potential ignition sources are introduced into the area around the release, as the natural gas is highly flammable. 

In the event of an incident, a minimum initial evacuation distance should be kept:

  • more than 250 meters for ignited and
  • approximately 550 meters for unignited leak.

This distance should be observed at all times until a competent ICGB expert is present on-site to confirm the leak size and pressure. 

If a leak is suspected

What to DO

LEAVE the area immediately on foot.

MOVE AWAY from the affected pipeline, at a safe distance (550+ meters) and upwind (against the direction of the wind).

ENSURE that no potential sources of ignition are used in the area, including mobile phones, radio equipment, cigarettes, lighters, matches, and motor vehicles.

ALERT people in the vicinity and try to get them away from the area.

When you are at a safe distance, CALLICGB’s emergency numbers.

If a leak is suspected

What NOT to do

DO NOT try to locate the source of the leak.

DO NOT start vehicles or machinery in the area.

DO NOT cause any open flame or another potential source of ignition, such as an electrical power supply, light of a match, smoke, etc.

DO NOT move inside the minimum evacuation distance
(more than 250 meters for ignited and at least 550 meters for unignited leak).

DO NOT operate phones or electrical devices, unless you are at a safe distance.

DO NOT attempt to extinguish a natural gas fire.
Wait for the fire brigade and other trained emergency professionals.

DO NOT stand downwind of the leak (i.e. in the direction in which the wind is blowing).

IGB Project

Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria is co-financed by the European Union's
European Energy Programme for Recovery programme.

The sole responsibility of this publication lies with the author.
The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Co-financed by the Europen Union, Europen Energy Programme for Recovery  European Regional Development Fund Operational Program Innovation and Competitiveness


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