The home explosion Friday in the City of Warren underscores the need for customers and the public to be aware of the basics of natural gas safety, Consumers Energy said Saturday.
No one was injured in the explosion at 7275 Dodge Avenue, but the home was destroyed. The Warren police and fire departments and Consumers Energy are investigating the cause of the explosion. An initial investigation of the incident found that natural gas service had been turned off at the home in April, 2011.
Utility workers pressure tested the gas line leading to the home and found that it had no leaks. Consumers Energy is responsible for the safe delivery of natural gas to a customer’s meter. The customer is responsible for safe use of natural gas from the meter to the furnace and other appliances inside the home.
The utility also reminds customers and the public that tampering with natural gas and electric meters or gas lines and power lines in any way can create dangerous situations that result in property damage, serious injuries or even death.
“Safety is our top priority at Consumers Energy. It is the foundation of service to our customers. We are committed to helping our 1.7 million gas customers understand the importance of using natural gas safely and providing them with the information they need to do that,” said Daniel Malone, senior vice president of distribution and customer operations.
Specifically, the company’s “3 R’s” program helps customers to Recognize signs of potential gas leaks, React by getting to a safe location, and then Report by calling Consumers Energy from the safe location at 800-477-5050. Consumers Energy takes emergency calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and responds promptly to gas leak calls at no charge.
For customers who may have difficulty making a bill payment, a number options are available, including financial aid through PeopleCare, a program offered by Consumers Energy and the Salvation Army. There also are a number of other programs and services available at the federal, state and local level. Customers facing financial difficulties should call Consumers Energy immediately if they anticipate problems paying their energy bill or visit the company’s website, www.consumersenergy.com/energyanswers, for information about assistance programs for those in need. Safety information is also available on the company’s website.