Natural gas leaks are rare but can occur in a variety of places, so it is important to be aware of the signs of a leak. Further, knowing what to do when you suspect a leak is just as critical so you can protect you, your community and the system.
Because natural gas is colorless and odorless, the utility company adds a harmless, non-toxic chemical that makes it easier to detect a gas leak before it can create a hazardous situation. The chemical additive is called Mercaptan, and it gives the rotten eggs smell to natural gas.
If you suspect a gas leak
- Leave immediately. Move to a safe place, at least 300 feet away.
- Do not turn on or off any lights or appliances.
- Warn others to stay away from the area.
- Call 911 and the utility company when in a safe location far from the gas leak.
If you suspect a gas leak, do not:
- Use a lighter, match or candle, open flames or operate anything that could cause a spark (such as cell phones, lights, appliances, flashlights, garage door opener or power tools).
- Open exterior windows or doors in an attempt to ventilate.
- Try to find the leak yourself or operate any pipeline valves.