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Natural Gas Leaks: Recognize and Respond

With the winter weather upon us people tend to use their natural gas appliances more often. The following safety tips can help you recognize and respond to natural gas leaks:

Use your sense of sight hearing or smell to alert you to the presence of a gas leak. Signs of a possible leak include:

A damaged connection to a gas appliance dirt or water being blown in the air dead or dying vegetation (in an otherwise moist area) over or near pipeline areas a fire or explosion near a pipeline or exposed pipeline after an earthquake fire flood or other disaster.
An unusual sound such as a hissing whistling or roaring sound near a gas line or appliance.
The distinctive odor of natural gas. Even though an odor is added to natural gas to assist in the detection of leaks do not rely on sense of smell alone to alert you to a gas leak since there may be occasions when you might not be able to smell the odor additive.

If a leak is suspected:

Remain calm.
Do not light a match candle or cigarette and don't turn any electrical devices on or off including light switches or use any device or equipment that could cause a spark.
Immediately evacuate the area where the leak is suspected and from a safe location and call a professional or 911.
Do not attempt to control the leak or repair the damaged pipe or meter.

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