Homeowner: Unfixed gas leak made me sick

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) –  Chris Campopiano was worried. His entire house smelled like gas.

Right away, Campopiano called National Grid. A crew found a leak in front of his home, but it was minor and didn’t require an immediate fix.

Campopiano told Call 12 for Action that the leak persisted for more than a year.

“We kept calling them over and over for that,” he said. “They said there’s nothing we can do. They said it’s not a high priority risk, even though we were complaining that it was making us sick.”

Campopiano said he and his wife often suffered from nausea because of the leak, noting that the feeling would disappear within an hour of leaving their home. David Graves, a spokesperson for National Grid, told Call 12 for Action that the leak in front of the Campopianos’ home was a Grade 3 leak, which is the least serious type of gas leak.

In an email, Graves added, “Grade 3’s do not pose a threat to public health and safety and are monitored regularly. In this case the leak, while not a threat, was a nuisance to the customer and since we had a crew available in the area, the decision was made to repair it.”

Source of the gas leak in front of Chris Campopiano’s home

There were 2,292 gas leaks in Rhode island in 2015; 825 of them were classified as Grade 3 leaks, according to National Grid’s annual system integrity report.

Grade 1 leaks are repaired immediately. Grade 2 leaks are scheduled for repair, typically within days of being discovered, according to the utility company. Campopiano said the repairs near his home took about five hours.

“I think it would still be going on, leaking, if we hadn’t called you,” Campopiano told Call 12 for Action. “It already seems like we have a lot of stress off our minds. Nausea has gone away.”

Though some leaks aren’t as serious as others, it’s important to report any suspected gas leaks.

If you suspect a leak, National Grid advises:

  • Leave the premise immediately.
  • Leave windows and doors as they are.
  • Do not touch any electrical or light switches, doorbells, phones or anything that could cause a spark, such as any appliances or thermostats.
  • Do not turn any electrical equipment on or off.
  • Do not pull plugs from outlets. Extinguish any open flames, such as lit candles.
  • If you have a gas range or oven, make sure the controls are turned off. Do not smoke or light matches.

To report a suspected gas leak, call 911 or National Grid at 1-800-640-1595.