How to Recognize a Gas Leak:
Natural gas and propane in their original state are odorless, we add an organic compound called Mercaptan before the gas is delivered to your community. The compound has a distinctive smell like rotten eggs to alert you to the presence of natural gas or propane escaping in or around your home.
Natural gas pipelines have a proven record of safety. Sometimes, however, pipeline failure can occur. Hazards associated with a pipeline failure and gas release may include blowing gas, line rupture, fire, explosion or, if gas is present in a confined area, possible asphyxiation.
Damage by outside force, often by someone digging into a pipeline, is the largest single cause of pipeline failures. Incidents may occur due to corrosion, material failure, equipment failure or other causes.
The source of a gas odor could be inside your home from a leak in your house line or appliance connection. It could also be outside from leaks in a service or main line that could come into your home through foundation walls or drain lines.
Leak Recognition – Remember the three ways to recognize a natural gas or propane leak:
- SMELL: To help you SMELL a leak from a gas line or appliance, a familiar odor like rotten eggs is often added to natural gas and propane gas.
- SEE: Near a gas leak, you might SEE blowing dirt, bubbling water or an unusual area of dead vegetation.
- HEAR: A leaking pipeline might make a hissing sound you can HEAR.
- If you recognize even one of the above signs, walk away, right away.
- Don’t try to stop or repair the leak yourself or use anything that might create a spark, such as a cell phone.
- Avoid using potential ignition sources, such as telephones, doorbells, electric switches or motor vehicles.
- From a safe distance, call our emergency number at 1-800-255-6815 and then call 911.
What to Do If You Smell Gas:
- Leave the building or the area immediately.
- Don’t light matches, touch electrical switches, use the phone or start a motor vehicle.
- If you have propane, shut off your tank by turning the knob located under the blue dome clockwise.
- Call The Energy Cooperative 1-800-255-6815 from a phone that is not near the leak. Our employees are on call 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies.Call 911.
- Never try to extinguish a gas fire or operate any pipeline valves.
- Plan to meet our service person or provide access to your home to inspect your equipment and check for the source of the odor.
- Practice safety drills for getting your family out of the house at night before an emergency occurs. Don’t turn lights on or off.
- Don’t light matches or cigarette lighters.
- Don’t use a flashlight during the drill because an electric arc might ignite the gas.
- Don’t use the telephone or cell phone because an arc might ignite the gas.
- Plan what you’re going to do and move slowly and carefully.
- Practice the drill in the daylight first.
- Include the emergency telephone number for The Energy Cooperative (1-800-255-6815) on your list of important phone numbers (e.g. fire, police, physicians, etc.)