Follow your nose
If you detect the odor of natural gas, let your local gas company track it down. Leave the building immediately and warn others. Avoid creating a spark – do not turn on or off any electrical appliances as you leave, even light switches or cell phones. Then, call your gas company from another location. Also, if your pilot or burner flame is substantially higher than normal, this may be an indication of excess pressure. Call your gas company immediately.
Suspect a Pipeline Leak?
There are several signs that can indicate a natural gas leak is present. If you see any of these signs, please notify your gas company immediately for investigation.
• Hissing sound or odor of gas near a pipeline or in and around any building.
• Ice formation on the ground above a pipeline.
• Distressed or dead vegetation above a pipeline.
Dig safely (www.mo1call.com)
Don’t accidentally break a gas line or other underground service while digging in your yard. Before you dig, call 1-800-DIG-RITE (1-800-344-7483) or 811 (national one-call number) at least three business days before you start. Or, visit www.mo1call.com to have underground utilities located and marked free of charge. Wait for the locate to be completed. Then, be aware of the marks as you dig carefully with a shovel. Careless digging can not only damage and disrupt vital utility services, but can cause injury or even loss of life. If a gas line break occurs, go to a safe location and immediately call and report it to Missouri One Call at 1-800-DIG-RITE and then call your local gas company. Also, call 911.
Flammable material close to gas appliances, as well as snow, ice and other debris around gas meter sets and appliance vents can create hazardous situations. Give your appliances and the meter sets the space they require.
Let gas pipes be gas pipes
Gas pipes have a job of their own to do and shouldn’t be used for anything else — certainly not clotheslines, free-form closets or grounds for electrical appliances. If a gas appliance is disconnected, be sure the gas pipe is capped. If your gas meter is located inside, your gas company must be given access to it to perform periodic safety inspections. Avoid damp corrosive environments around inside gas pipes and take corrective action if you see a badly corroded pipe. If the badly corroded pipe is on the street (inlet) side of the meter, call your local gas company to report this condition.
Check your furnace and flue
Ensure that your heating equipment is clean and in good working order. Properly adjusted pilots and burners and clean filters, as well as clear chimneys, vents and flues, pay off in both safety and savings. Leaves, bird nests, fallen bricks or mortar can mean problems, including exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). If you find something you can’t handle, call your local gas company or your heating contractor. Either party can check to make sure that your gas appliances have the appropriate connectors.
Guard against CO
Properly working gas appliances are very safe, so your first line of defense against carbon monoxide (CO) is to have your furnace inspected annually, either by your local gas company or your heating contractor. If you use a CO detector, make sure it is a UL-approved, alarm-sounding device. If your CO detector alarm sounds, call your local fire department immediately.