Natural Gas Safety

Do You Know The Basics Of Natural Gas Safety?

To burn, gas must mix with the proper amount of air and be ignited by a flame or a spark. Burning natural gas without enough air produces carbon monoxide, a deadly poison. Natural gas is harmful to breathe because it contains no oxygen.

Pure natural gas is colorless and odorless. A chemical is added to give the gas a distinctive, pungent odor so that you can smell a leak immediately.

A faint odor of gas may mean that a pilot light has gone out and should be relit. A strong odor means you should leave the home at once. Call the gas company from a neighbor's home.

Some gas companies will check your gas-burning equipment, home insulation, and ventilation to make sure you have a safe and fuel efficient home.

Look for the nationally recognized testing organization's label on gas appliances.

Good Housekeeping Is Safe Housekeeping

Keep the kitchen range clean. Rinse and dry burners before reinstalling. Be careful not to damage or change settings on air shutters or sleeves.

Never use the kitchen range as a space heater. This can damage the range and produce dangerous carbon monoxide gas.

If your gas range burners don't light, see if the pilot lights are burning. If they're not, turn all burners to "off" and apply a match to each pilot light (unless you have electronic ignition or if there's a strong odor).

If the pilot light won't light or if you smell a strong odor of gas, leave and call your gas company from a neighbor's home.

Never try to locate a leak yourself - it could be fatal. Call the gas company instead.

Teach Gas Safety To Your Family

Every family member should know where the shut-off valve is at the meter. This valve should be closed only in the event of a gas emergency in your home.

Let everyone smell natural gas by briefly turning on an unlit burner and then turning it completely off- this is the warning smell of a GAS LEAK.

Teach small children to stay away from the gas range and all gas-burning appliances. Don't let children swing from or play with pipes leading to water heaters or ranges.

Practice safety drills for getting the family out of the house at night in case of a gas emergency.

Take your family on a guided tour of your home's gas-burning appliances.

What To Do If You Smell Gas

If you smell a faint odor of gas, look for a pilot light that 's out. If you see one, turn the appliance off and open the window-top and bottom- to let gas escape. Wait five minutes before relighting the pilot.

Don't turn electrical switches on or off, or use a flashlight or telephone, because an electric spark could ignite the gas and cause an explosion.

If you still smell gas around the appliance after turning it off and ventilating the room, do not relight it. Call your gas company for help.

If the gas odor is strong and you think there is a leak, leave immediately. Go to a neighbor's home and phone the gas company.



To prevent accidents:

  1. Follow manufacturer's instructions with all appliances.
  2. Have your appliances installed, serviced and repaired by professionals.
  3. Keep chimney flues and vents for appliances clean and in good condition.
  4. Keep areas around your gas water heater and furnace clean and free of flammables.
  5. Teach family members what to do if they smell gas.



  1. If you smell gas and can't find the source immediately, go to a neighbor's house and call the gas company.
  2. If the odor is not strong, open the doors and windows for ventilation.
  3. If the odor is strong and persists, get everyone out of the house immediately.
  4. Don't use a telephone, switch a light on or off, or a light a match if you smell gas.
  5. Don't try to relight a gas furnace, water heater, or range until you are sure there's no more smell of gas.