Some large industrial, commercial, and electric generation customers receive natural gas directly from high-capacity, interstate and intrastate pipelines, which are usually contracted through natural gas marketing companies. However, other users receive natural gas from their local gas utility, also called a local distribution company.
Typically, distribution occurs through smaller pipelines at lower pressures and across shorter distances than the main transmission segment.
Local distribution companies, like the larger interstate and intrastate pipelines, maintain the highest safety standards to ensure preventable accidents are avoided and problems with the distribution network are remedied quickly.
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There are a variety of safety measures including leak detection equipment, safety education programs, on-call technicians, emergency preparedness and one-call systems.
Utilities typically run natural gas safety seminars in schools, community centers and through other organizations to ensure customers are well versed in natural gas safety procedures and know what to do in the event of a leak or emergency.