Natural gas safety basics

Natural gas fires

  • Let it burn. Contact the local utility and wait for them to arrive. Meanwhile, evacuate the area and protect exposures.
  • For structure fires, shut off the gas supply ONLY if you can safely access the meter. Once gas is off, remain alert for gas migration and possible reignition.
  • Do not use water to suppress a natural gas fire, as it is ineffective. However, a fog spray can be used to cool combustible exposures. Utility personnel and the incident commander will tell you how to proceed.


Natural gas migrates, explodes, kills four

Emergency personnel responded to the scene of a natural gas pipeline rupture caused by construction workers. The responders did not check nearby buildings to determine if gas was accumulating or to help assess the need for a possible evacuation, even though the high-pressure pipeline continued to leak. About 39 minutes after the pipeline rupture, an explosion occurred. It destroyed six buildings, killed four people, and injured eleven, including two firefighters and one police officer.