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Gas line and electrical response event promotes safety

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Today in Gonzales the Texas 811 held a safety day to educate the public on different dangers faced in everyday life.
Newscenter 25's David Gibson attended the event and tells us what he learned.

Several gas and electric companies held a safety day to educate the public about the dangers of hitting underground lines.

A common party balloon can cause an electrical emergency.
The electrical gas line safety event in Gonzales brought together three crossroads gas and electric companies to keep you safe.
"There are over 9000 damages a year here in Texas to underground pipe lines so we want to promote calling 811 before you dig," declares David Ferguson, Texas 811.
Texas gas used a tractor to simulate hitting an underground gas line...the blowing smoke represents the escaping gas from the struck line...
"So if you hit a gas line, the first thing you want to do is get away from the incident move far away and call 911," says Ferguson.
  
The best way to prevent this from happening to you...
"Call 811 before you dig and that will indicate where your underground facilities are so you can stay far away from them without damaging those facilities. It's a free call and if you call then your underground facilities will be marked. And those under ground facilities are gas lines, electric lines, cable and telephone," explains Ferguson.
The burning hot dog is a dramatic representation of what happens when skin comes in contact with power lines.
 It's important to know how to protect yourself in the event you hit a power pole and the power lines fall on to your car.
"The biggest steps is obviously to stay in the vehicle if that's an option, we would ask if the folks stay in the vehicle," explains Sean Alvarez, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative.
But if you cant Alvarez gives you suggestions on what to do next.
"If they have to exit the vehicle we would ask that they actually jump out of the vehicle and land on the ground with two feet," tells Alvarez.
Once you jump out of the vehicle GVEC recommends you shuffle your feet as you walk away from the scene.
"Because the actual  voltage, the amount changes the further they get away from the accident site," says Alvarez.
The lesson learned today is to always remember to call 811 before you start digging
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