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Natural gas is one of the many safe, reliable forms of energy we provide. Sometimes leaks are unforeseeable and can be extremely dangerous. You can prevent potentially dangerous conditions by always calling 811 before you dig and 911 if you suspect a gas leak. Here are a few tips to help you respond.
It is important for you to know how to recognize potentially dangerous natural gas leaks, so use your senses:
|Smell: Natural gas has no odor in its natural state, so we add a harmless odorant called mercaptan, which people describe to be similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. It may smell differently to you, or it may also be a strong smell from an unknown source.|
|Hear: A natural gas leak may produce a noise that ranges from next to nothing to a slight hissing or blowing sound to a loud roar.|
|See: A leak can also cause dust, dirt or debris to fly, or create blowing or continuous bubbling movement in water. It also can cause a spot of dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area.|
Because an electric spark can ignite an explosion, remember to follow these tips:
Regularly maintaining your gas meter helps avoid the potential for dangerous indoor natural gas build-up. Below are some tips you can follow to help keep you and your family safe during winter and summer months.
Overgrown vegetation, like plants, shrubs, or weeds, can also inhibit the flow of natural gas to and from your meter, creating potentially dangerous situations.
If you notice ice on your meter or are concerned that the meter's regulator vent may be blocked, contact us at 800-895-2999.
Icy build-up can dangerously interfere with the flow of natural gas to and from your meter, and accumulated snow can prevent the meter from operating properly by stopping the flow of natural gas. A snow-covered meter could also lead to a loss of service and freezing of inside pipes as a result of lost heat.
If you have guests or renters in your home this winter, please help them stay safe too by printing this Winter Safety Guide (PDF) and putting it in a visible spot.
|The arrow points to the meter's gas pressure regulator vent. This vent can also become plugged when snow and ice melt during the day and refreeze at night.|
What to do in a Gas Emergency or Outage.
Turn off your lights when you leave the room—even if you'll only be gone for a moment. Contemporary light bulbs require very little energy to turn "on."
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