(NC) Although natural gas is extremely safe and reliable, gas leaks can occur inside or outside your home. Knowing how to detect them can keep you and your family safe.
Natural gas is both odourless and colourless, making it hard to identify. To make it easier to detect, gas utilities add a chemical called mercaptan, which causes gas to smell like rotten eggs or sulphur. Interestingly, mercaptan is a natural chemical that’s also found in the human body — it’s the reason human waste and bad breath cause a stench.
Look out for other warning signs, like a hearing loud hissing sound or damage to a gas connection, pipe or meter. Dead or dying vegetation in the area around your natural gas meter, appliances or gas lines could also be a sign of a leak.
If you suspect a natural gas leak, here’s what you should do:
- Go outside and if possible, leave the area immediately.
- Once you’re a safe distance away, call your local natural gas utility’s emergency number.
- Don’t use phones or electronics near the leak.
- Don’t use appliances or start any vehicles or motors.
- Don’t smoke, use lighters or matches.
- If leaked gas is burning, call 911 and do not attempt to put the fire out yourself.
- Never assume that someone else has reported a natural gas leak.
Learn more about natural gas safety at www.enbridgegas.com/smellgas.