Natural gas safety basics

Natural gas leaks

  • Indoor leaks. Evacuate the building immediately. Shut off the gas at the appliance’s supply line—or, if you cannot identify the leaking appliance, shut off gas at the meter or service valve only. When you are certain the gas is off and all ignition hazards are eliminated, ventilate by opening windows. Never ventilate while personnel are inside. If a combustible gas indicator (CGI) is available, continue monitoring until the gas company arrives.
  • Outdoor leaks. Evacuate the area immediately. Contact the local natural gas utility immediately to shut off the gas. Never try to operate underground pipeline valves or relief vents.
  • Eliminate ignition hazards. Turn off radios, pagers and cell phones, or leave them in your vehicle if possible. Do not use doorbells, light switches, matches or lighters. If you must use a flashlight, turn it on before approaching the area.

Recognizing gas leaks

There are several indicators of natural gas pipeline leaks:

  • A sulfur-like odor
  • A hissing sound
  • Dirt spraying into the air
  • Continual bubbling in a pond or creek
  • Plants that seem to be dead or dying for no reason

DO NOT attempt to detect a natural gas leak by smell alone. An uncontrollable factor may eliminate or weaken the odor.