A natural gas emergency is not something to take lightly. If you smell gas, hear a blowing or hissing noise, see damaged natural gas piping, or have any other reason to believe there is a natural gas leak, evacuate the area immediately and call your natural gas provider or 911.
Today, we’ll talk more about what to do (and not to do) during a natural gas emergency, signs to look out for, and other important information that could save your and your family’s lives.
What is a Natural Gas Emergency?
A natural gas emergency is any situation with a risk of natural gas leaking, which can seriously threaten public safety.
If you smell natural gas, it usually means there is already a leak. Natural gas is odorless, so utilities often add a chemical called mercaptan to give it an unmistakable smell like rotten eggs. However, not all transmission lines are odorized.
You might also spot a white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in still water, or blowing dust—all indications of a possible gas leak. Finally, if you hear a strange sound (like hissing, roaring, or whistling), this could also point to a natural gas leak.
If you smell, hear, or see natural gas, leave the area immediately and contact your natural gas provider or 911.
(Visit this link to learn more about natural gas hazards)
Signs of a Natural Gas Emergency
Here are some other signs that there may be a natural gas leak:
- Hissing or whistling noise coming from natural gas piping
- Damaged natural gas piping
- Bubbling in wet ground near natural gas piping
- Dead grass or other vegetation in an otherwise healthy area
If you see any of these signs, evacuate the area immediately and call for help.
What To Do If You Smell Natural Gas
Here are some other steps to follow if you smell natural gas or suspect a leak:
- Leave the area immediately and head to a safe location.
- Do not turn any lights on or off, use any electrical appliances, or create sparks.
- Once you’re in a safe spot, call your natural gas provider from a landline phone if possible. If you cannot reach your natural gas provider, call 911.
(Wondering what to do if your propane tank is leaking? Click here to find out.)
What Not To Do
As much as it’s essential to know what you should do in the event of an emergency, there are also several things you should NOT do:
- Do not turn off your natural gas at the meter. Only a qualified professional should do this.
- Don’t try to find or repair the leak yourself. This is extremely dangerous and should only be done by a qualified professional.
- Do not use any electrical appliances, including cell phones, as they can create sparks that could ignite natural gas.
- Do not smoke cigarettes or cigars, as these can also create sparks that could Ignite natural gas.
(Did you know we offer 24-hour natural gas emergency services in Arizona?)
How to Prevent Natural Gas Leaks
There are a few things you can do to help prevent natural gas leaks:
- Check for natural gas leaks regularly. If you smell natural gas or see any of the signs we talked about earlier, call your natural gas provider or 911 immediately.
- Ensure all natural gas appliances in your home are properly maintained and serviced by a qualified professional.
- Be aware of construction happening near natural gas lines. If you see damage to natural gas lines, call your natural gas provider or 911 immediately.
Natural gas emergencies are serious business, but if you know what to do (and what not to do), you can help keep yourself and your family safe. We hope this information was helpful and informative. Stay safe out there, and be sure to contact RP Gas Piping for your natural gas services in Arizona.
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