Like all pipeline operators, San Diego Gas & Electric® (SDG&E®) is required by federal law to communicate safety information to key public officials who have jurisdiction in the communities where we operate. We have compiled the most commonly asked questions and answers about natural gas pipeline safety information.

Q1. How do I know where gas pipelines are located?

You’ll find the approximate locations of major natural gas pipelines online at the National Pipeline Mapping System and on SDG&E’s website. We also place pipeline markers next to our major pipelines near intersections and railway crossings.

Q2. Based on population and pipeline locations, is my City of Escondido designated as an HCA or non-HCA?

According to U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines, the City of Escondido is designated as a High Consequence Area (HCA).

Q3. How can I make my City of Escondido safer and save resources by preventing pipeline incidents?

In 2012, there were 12 dig-ins in the City of Escondido. Public officials are encouraged to work with contractors to have a valid 811 ticket before excavation. Contractors are required by California law to call 811. Property owners, however, are exempt if their project does not require a permit.

Q4. Is my sense of smell good enough to recognize a gas leak?

Most of the time “the nose knows” the distinctive odor of natural gas, but not always. Some people may not be able to smell the gas odorant under certain conditions, such as a diminished sense of smell, the presence of other odors, and the reduction or loss of odorant known as odor fade. This is why you should learn how you can also be alerted to a gas leak through your senses of sight and hearing.

Q5. What should I do when there is a gas leak?

If a gas leak is detected, remain calm. Don't light a match, candle, or cigarette. Don't turn electric appliances or lights on or off or use any device that could cause a spark.  Note that gas escaping from a plastic pipe can create static electricity that can ignite the gas. Immediately leave the area and, from a safe location, call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or call 911.

Q6. If there is a major gas leak, how do I get emergency crews there as fast as possible?

Work with the 911 dispatchers in your City of Escondido to understand and follow the Pipeline Emergency Operations standard.

Q7. Why does SDG&E prune or clear trees in my City of Escondido?

We need unobstructed access along our pipeline right-of-way to maintain and operate our facilities and to quickly respond to any pipeline emergency. In addition, tree roots can damage our pipelines.

Q8. How should I coordinate City of Escondido planning and development projects with SDG&E if my community is growing?

Consult with us to build safely near major gas pipelines. We encourage you to review the information provided by the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) because the decisions you make can affect the safety of the community surrounding the pipeline.

Q9. What does SDG&E do to maintain its pipelines and protect the public?

We have implemented a rigorous pipeline integrity management program. We use advanced safety inspection tools to monitor pipe condition and to verify that the pipelines are being maintained safely.

Q10. Where do I get more pipeline safety information?

Go to You can also contact Juanita Hayes, Public Affairs Manager, by email at or phone at 760-480-7650.

High Consequence Areas (HCAs)

High Consequence Areas (HCAs) are primarily locations that are heavily populated and have gas transmission pipelines in the vicinity. Less populated areas can also be classified as HCAs if they meet specific additional requirements, such as buildings accommodating low-mobility residents or areas where people gather for a specific number of days per year.

Non-High Consequence Areas (Non-HCAs) are primarily locations that are not heavily populated and/or do not have gas transmission lines in the vicinity.

SDG&E Gas Meter

Emergency Preparedness

Natural disasters and emergencies can strike without warning. Learn what to do with your gas meter and gas appliances before, during and after an emergency.