LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Fire and Rescue and Atmos Energy Corporation work closely together to monitor gas leaks that occur in the city.
LFR said they recieve about three to five calls a week because someone may smell gas or construction workers hit a gas line.
Edward Espinoza, Manager of Public Affairs at Atmos Energy, said a lot of issues happen when construction workers won’t call 8-1-1 after they cut a gas line.
Captain Phillip Grandon with LFR explained that, typically they respond to gas leak situations after receiving a 9-1-1 call or being asked to assist with Atmos Energy.
“If there is a hit gas line, we have to go and be there for standby for fire protection while Atmos repairs the line,” Grandon said.
Grandon also said LFR will evacuate people from the area of a gas leak if necessary.
“If there are structures close within the leak [area] and we have a reading thats really close to one then we will evacuate that structure and probably the ones next to it just to be safe.” Grandon said.
Within the last five years, Grandon said LFR has seen a large increase of gas leak calls, typically due to new projects and construction.
“Since January 1 of this year till today,” Grandon said, “we’ve gotten about 262 gas leak calls. Whether that’s outside or inside – they are kind of mixed.”
Grandon said in 2020 there were about 320 gas calls, and in 2019 there were 332. The number of calls between 2016 and 2018 were slightly lower at less than 300 per year.
“We ask for assistance with the fire department to help us set up a perimeter, to help with traffic and to help us make sure that the location is safe,” Espinoza said.
Espinoza reminded the community to always call 8-1-1 before digging and if you smell gas, act fast.