Smell gas? Move fast.

Raw natural gas is colorless and odorless. As a safety precaution, utility companies add a harmless odorant to the natural gas to give it the distinctive rotten egg smell. Natural gas is lighter than air, so it will rise and disperse if allowed to vent freely.

Although rare, natural gas leaks can be dangerous and result in fire, explosions, injury or death. If you suspect a leak, call your utility provider immediately.

Signs of a leak

  • Smell the odor of rotten eggs.
  • Hear hissing, roaring or whistling sounds near a gas appliance, meter or pipeline.
  • See dead or dying vegetation where the surrounding area is green, blowing dirt or bubbling water in a puddle, river, pond or creek.

Steps to staying safe during a gas leak

Anytime you suspect a natural gas leak, you should react like it’s an emergency.

  • Leave the area immediately and evacuate everyone from the home or building.
  • Go to a remote location and call your utility provider.
  • Do not return until they confirm it is safe.
  • If gas is blowing, also call 911.
  • Don’t stop to look for the leak or open windows.
  • Don’t use anything that might create a spark, such as a cell phone, light switch or garage door opener. These can ignite gases or vapors.

More from this category

Flood safety

Safety cones in flooded street

Walking through a wet or flooded basement can be dangerous. To be safe, you should always assume that basement flood water is energized.

learn more

Electrical safety and childproofing

Man installing childproof outlet cap

Make sure your electrical appliances, tools and outlets are safe, and be careful around electrical equipment outdoors.

learn more

Aging in place

Adjustable height kitchen sink

Using universal design principals, your home can adapt to your changing lifestyle needs.

learn more

Take care with power tools

Man using a circular saw

Taking a few minutes to check power tools before and after using will keep them in good working order and will keep you safe.

learn more

Radon gas

Radon pipe in rock

Find out how to test for radon in your home and what to do if you have it.

learn more

Gas appliance safety

Gas appliance connector cord

Keep these safety guidelines in mind when using gas-consuming products such as stoves, clothes dryers, water heaters and furnaces.

learn more

Garage door app

Pete and garage door specialist looking at garage door opener and phone app

A garage door app will alert you when the door is open and allow you to open and close the door from your smart phone.

learn more

Portable generators & space heaters

portable generator

Portable heaters and generators are convenient, but use them with extreme caution.

learn more

Be prepared for bad weather

Flashlight

The best way to weather a storm is to have a safety plan in place ahead of time.

learn more