At Gas South, natural gas safety is a priority. That’s why we’re here to give you tips on detecting gas leaks in your house, on what to do if you have a leak, and on how to prevent them.
Natural gas leaks can be a real threat if they go undetected or ignored. As a highly combustible material, gas leaks can lead to fires or explosions, and it can also cause sickness in residents. If you suspect you have a leak in your gas line, call Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) at 877-427-4321 or call 911 to report a gas leak.
How to Detect a Natural Gas Leak
The most common way to detect a gas leak is by its smell, which is similar to the smell of rotten eggs. If you smell a leak, leave the area immediately and stay away until assistance arrives.
A leak can also be detected by a hissing sound emitted where the gas escapes the line. If a leak is audible, it is likely a substantial leak and should be reported at once. A leak in a buried gas line can also be indicated by discolored vegetation, blowing dirt or continued bubbling water around the compromised line.
How to Report a Natural Gas Leak
Customers in Georgia should call Atlanta Gas Light at 877-427-4321 or call 911 to report a gas leak.
If you smell or hear a leak in your gas line, you should always report it. Never try to find the leak yourself. If you suspect you do have a leak, it is especially important that you don’t use any devices that might create a spark including lighters, light switches, phones or electric appliances. Exit the premises at once, report the leak and wait for professional assistance.
How to prevent a gas leak
There are a number of ways to prevent gas leaks and keep your home or business safe. Our top recommendations for safely using natural gas in your home are:
- Keep the areas around all appliances and equipment clean and unblocked to allow for proper air flow.
- Check your pilot lights and burners for a steady, blue flame. If you see the blue flame, they are operating correctly. (Decorative gas fire logs are the only exception – the flame is usually yellow.)
- Never let small children play with, or near, natural gas appliances or pipes.
- Don’t use your stove or oven for anything other than cooking (for instance, to heat your home).
- Store household chemicals or combustible materials away from gas appliances.
- Call 811 before you dig, so underground lines can be marked.
- Every year or two, have a professional inspect your gas appliances, furnaces, vents, flues, chimneys and gas lines in your home or business.
- When moving or installing a gas appliance, or changing a connector, always enlist the help of a professional.
We hope you never have to deal with a gas leak but if you do, now you know how to act quickly and keep everyone involved safe.
Why does natural gas smell like rotten eggs?
By itself, natural gas has no odor or color, so natural gas distributers began adding a chemical called mercaptan to it in the late 1930s as a safety measure. The foul, rotten-egg smell of mercaptan makes it easier to detect leaks.