Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Athens Postal Worker Detects Gas Leaks

Alex Motz

Athens Post Office worker Charles Murray Rose addressed Athens City Council Meeting about gas leaks at their meeting on Monday. He told Council that he had noticed several gas leaks along his route on Athens’ east side and was concerned for residents. “I’ve come to view the people on my route as part of my extended family,” Rose said.

On the Job
In fact, Rose has warned residents along his route about the leaks he has detected. At 306 E. State St., he left a note on a package he delivered to the home. Later, a woman left him a reply asking if he would knock on the door so that she could thank him properly. “It’s a very humbling experience when you realize that you’ve done something to save someone’s life,” Rose said. She had called Columbia Gas to have them look into the source of the smell and found that it was a very serious leak.

Calling on Columbia Gas
According to Rose, Columbia Gas is not always quick to locate leaks. For instance, Rose also detected gas coming from a storm drain outside 21 N. Shannon. “When I got out of my truck, the smell was so strong it almost brought me to my knees,” said Rose. He called Columbia Gas who he said took nine months to fix the problem.

“My nose knows,” said Rose who attributes countless other leaks along his route to Columbia Gas’s old crumbling lines failing. “I’ve been right four times, and that’s just the leaks they’ve fixed.”

In his speech to Athens City Council, Rose insisted that Columbus Gas owes him and the people on his route an apology. “Just the fact that they had the nerve to say,” he scanned through his speech notes to ensure that he quoted Columbus Gas correctly, “the gas is not dangerous to life or property. That’s what this Ken Stammen from Columbia Gas wrote.”

“Gas is very dangerous if not monitored correctly. I’m happy to heat my home with electric,” Rose said proudly as he ended his speech to Council.

Suspecting a leak
“My senses are keen and in tuned,” Rose said. But not everyone has senses as strong as Rose’s. So if you think that you detect a gas leak through smell, sight (white cloud, mist or fog), or sound (hissing or whistling), follow these instructions from Columbia Gas's website:

- If you smell gas inside, get out immediately.
- If you suspect a leak outside, turn off and abandon any motorized equipment you might be using.
- Leave the area quickly.
- Warn others to stay away from the area.
- From a safe place, call our emergency number at 1-800-344-4077 and your fire department or police. An odor of gas outside your home should be reported just as you would report an inside odor. Gas leaks from service lines could migrate into your home through walls or drain lines.
- Remain outside until we can send someone to check on the source of the odor.

- Light a match or candle, or operate anything that could cause a spark, including cell phones, lights, appliances, flashlights, power tools, etc.
- Open the windows and doors in an attempt to ventilate
- Try to find the leak yourself or operate pipeline valves

For more information on how to detect a gas leak, visit Columbia Gas's website to read how to use your senses to detect a natural gas leak.

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