New Tool Allows Black Hills Energy to Investigate Suspected Natural Gas Leaks From a Safer Social Distance

Black Hills Energy’s number one priority is the continued safety of our customers, employees and communities. We continue actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and have measures in place to ensure we continue to serve our customers in a way that is safe for everyone.

A report of a suspected natural gas leak can be one of the most potentially hazardous situations a natural gas technician may ever encounter. As an extra safety precaution, Black Hills Energy is now utilizing a new LZ-30 device that allows technicians to detect the presence of natural gas from a further distance.

The most commonly used device to detect the presence of natural gas in a structure is a Combustible Gas Indicator (CGI) that requires the technician to use a probe at arms distance to the structure. In an effort to increase distance Black Hills Energy identified the LZ-30 device, which utilizes a laser to detect the presence of methane, the main chemical component of natural gas, from up to 100 feet.

“Once a suspected leak is reported, technicians need to quickly and safely determine if an actual leak is present. The laser technology allows us to do that from a greater distance, which helps ensure safety,” said Josh Nelson, Black Hills Energy Safety Manager. “This technology is part of our goal to focus on always improving how we serve our customers. It allows us to quickly determine if a natural gas leak is present, saving time and ensuring the safety of our team and our community,” said Nelson.

As a reminder, an odorant is added to natural gas that makes leaks easier to detect. If your nose picks up this scent, immediately leave the area and call 911 once you’re away from the site.

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