Safety

Natural Gas Safety FAQs

What does natural gas smell like?

In its pure form, natural gas is odorless. We add a harmless odorizing agent that produces a distinctive, pungent smell that reminds some of sulfur or rotten eggs. This makes it possible for you to detect even a small leak.

 

What should I do if I smell gas?

Use caution! A natural gas leak can cause an explosion if ignited by a spark.

If you smell gas in your home, leave your house immediately and call our emergency service number (1-888-784-6160) from another location such as a neighbor's house.

For your own safety, remember these rules in the event you smell gas:

  •  Do not use your electric garage door opener to leave your house. Any motorized appliance could spark, igniting the natural gas.
  • Do not use your phone to call us unless you are outside and away from your house. Using any type of telephone could ignite the leaking gas.
  • Do not turn any light switches or other electrical devices on or off. Anything electrical, even something as small as a thermostat, may cause a spark and ignite leaking gas.
  • Do not try to re-light the pilot light. Leave gas furnaces, water heaters and other gas appliances alone until you are certain that it is safe.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes or light candles. Using a lighter or a match could ignite the leaking gas.

 

Who is responsible for maintaining the gas piping on my property?

The customer is responsible for the maintenance of all gas piping (“customer service line”) from the edge of property line to the gas meter and into your home to all gas appliances. Buried gas piping (customer service line) that is not properly maintained is subject to potential hazards such as corrosion and leakage. For your safety, all buried gas piping should be periodically inspected for leaks. If the buried piping is metallic, it should also be periodically inspected for corrosion. If an unsafe condition is found, the gas piping will need to be promptly repaired. When digging near buried gas piping, the line must be located in advance and digging should be done by hand. Qualified plumbing and heating contractors can assist in locating, inspecting and repairing buried pipelines.


What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas produced by the incomplete burning of different fuels including gasoline, kerosene, wood, coal, propane, natural gas and fuel oil. High concentrations of CO can cause illness and excessive levels can be fatal.

If you suspect that someone may be experiencing CO poisoning in your home, call 911 or your local Fire Department immediately!

Know the symptoms:

Breathing CO may include the following flu-like symptoms:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • burning eyes
  • irregular breathing
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • unconsciousness

Preventing CO in your home

A few simple tips can help keep you and your family safe.

  • Make sure all appliances are properly installed and maintained.
  • Have a heating professional clean and check your heating and venting every year.
  • Between inspections, look for signs of water collecting near burners or vents. Also check vents, flue pipes and chimneys for corrosion or blockage.
  • Never run a vehicle or fuel-burning equipment in an enclosed place.
  • CO detectors are strongly recommended as an extra measure of safety and can be purchased at most discount and hardware stores.

 

Who should I call before I dig?

Even jobs that seem simple, such as planting a tree or installing a fence or a deck, can become dangerous and costly if an underground utility line is damaged.

Simply call one of these state agencies at least two full working days in advance (three days in Pennsylvania) to have utility lines marked at no cost. It's a simple call that can avoid serious accidents.

Ohio customers
Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS)
811

Pennsylvania customers
PA 1 Call
811

Take these steps in the event of a ruptured gas line near your home or business:

  • Leave the area of the gas leak immediately.
  • Call 911 and the emergency service center at 1-888-784-6160 from somewhere other than the location of the gas leak.

 

Public Awareness Safety Message

 Natural gas is an extremely safe form of energy and is transported to industrial, Commercial and residential customers by buried pipelines. Natural gas pipelines are built and operated in accordance with State and Federal Safety Codes. Pipelines are a reliable and safe method to transport natural gas.
 
 Homeowners and Excavators are required by law to “ call before you dig”. Always call 811 before you dig. It is a free call and there is no cost to the homeowner to have underground utilities located. You are required to call at least 48 hrs. in advance of digging in Ohio and Indiana, 72 hrs in advance in Pennsylvania. The 811 number is good everywhere. The utility companies will mark the underground facilities with paint and flags. You are required to hand dig test holes carefully to determine the exact location and depth of the buried utility. Damage to natural gas lines may cause leakage resulting in a fire or an explosion.
 
Contact your gas provider, the fire department or 911 if you suspect or discover a gas leak. If the leak is inside your home, you should leave the residence and make the telephone call from outside the home or from a neighbor’s telephone. Do not try to stop or repair the leak yourself or use anything that might create a spark such as light switches, electric doorbells, or telephones. Do not smoke. Never try to extinguish a gas fire.
 
 Natural gas has a chemical additive that gives it a familiar “rotten egg” odor; however smelling natural gas is not the only method of detecting a gas leak. A gas leak may be indicated by observing dirt blowing on the ground, bubbling in a water puddle or an unusual area of dead vegetation. You may also hear a hissing sound.
 
 The gas company works with emergency responder s and state and local agencies to prevent and prepare for emergencies. We maintain up to date operations and maintenance procedures that are made available to local and state authorities. Gas companies are required to perform pressure tests on pipelines before they are put in service. Federal codes require periodic leak surveys to locate leaks so they may be repaired before they become hazardous.
 
 If you suspect the presence of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home, call 911, open windows, and, if necessary, leave your residence. The presence of CO is an indication of a malfunctioning gas, propane, or wood-burning appliance. It is not caused by a gas leak.
Learn More
* = Required