Gas Explosions in the San Francisco Bay Area–A Danger Lurking Around the Corner?

After the September 9th gas line explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed and damaged more than 50 homes, it makes sense that Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s board of directors is hiring an independent consulting firm to review its natural gas transmission and distribution. According to Bloomberg,the spokesman for PG&E said the study is aimed at identifying best practices in the natural gas industry and steps the utility can take to provide confidence it’s following them. Consultants, from Process Performance Improvement Consultants, will assess the company’s safety practices and then recommend changes where appropriate. The firm also will examine new industry trends for gas line inspections, accident prevention, maintenance, capital planning and engineering. Once the review is complete, it will be overseen by independent members of the board and is expected to be completed by September of next year. The California Public Utilities Commission is also looking into the San Bruno Explosion and trying to determine exactly what caused it, and they have asked that PG&E reduce pressure in certain transmission pipelines by 10 percent, according to southsanfranciscopatch.com. During that time, PG&E will give $25 debit cards to customers who use less gas this month compared to average use at the same address for the past three Decembers. They will also offer a 20 percent credit on utility bills for customers who use 10 percent less gas than during those same months last year.
It goes without saying that even though the residents of San Bruno and the surrounding cities know that natural gas is highly needed during the winter months, they realize what is more important is that they comply with the request to use less, as natural gas is extremely dangerous and no one wants to live thru another accident. We all expect that PG&E properly installs and maintains their equipment, but as the explosion revealed, we can never assume that we are completely safe. The consequence of flawed or defective products and workmanship can be catastrophic explosions, which usually result in deaths and people being severely burned or disfigured. Here at the Brod Law Firm, we have successfully handled and won burn cases. If you or a loved fell victim to a natural gas explosion or burn injury, please contact our firm for a free consultation.