Ask Mr. Careful

Watching out for your safety.

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Tips For Saving Gas
  • Learn To Detect Gas By Smell
In its natural form, gas is odorless and invisible. So that you are able to detect gas by smell, a very foul odorant called mercaptan is added to the gas. It''s a distinct, skunk-like odor that smells like sulfur or rotten eggs.
  • Leak Detection Outdoors
If you''re near a natural gas pipeline, these tips can help you spot a natural gas leak outdoors:
  1. If you SEE dirt or water blowing into the air, or notice standing water continuously bubbling, there may be a leak. You also can look for discolored vegetation (like brown patches in a green field), or you might notice dry spots in a moist field.
  2. If you SMELL an odor that has the distinct scent of sulfur or rotten eggs, there may be a leak.
  3. If you HEAR a loud roaring or high-pitched hissing sound, there may be a leak.
  • Indoors
Your nose is your best friend in detecting potential leaks indoors. Inside any building - business or residence - trust your nose to help you identify a potential problem. If you SMELL an odor that has the distinct scent of sulfur or rotten eggs, there may be a leak and you need to be prepared to take action.
If you detect a leak indoors here''s what you do:
  1. Clear all occupants from the structure.
  2. Call your local gas company immediately.
Call Before You Dig

Avoid Careless Damage and Accidents The natural gas delivered to your home or business arrives through an intricate network of pipelines. They underlie your city like a massive, subterranean spider web. The infrastructure supporting your neighborhood lies right there with them - the underground conduits of communications, electric power, and television often surprise those who fail to think before they act. And they can pack a big bite. Far too often, a potential accident or pipeline break is just a careless backhoe, bulldozer, or jackhammer away. Most states have laws that requires utilities and line owners to register their underground facilities in every county - and for excavators to contact every potentially affected operator before they start to dig. Call your city offices before you dig. Operators with underground facilities in the quarter sections where the excavation is planned are notified. This includes natural gas and power utilities, communications companies, and cities and towns. Operator crews either mark their underground facilities or tell the excavator they have no lines in the area. On arrival, the underground facilities are identified for the excavator with color-coded flags marking the area as follows:

Red = Electric
Yellow = Gas, oil or steam
Orange = Telephone or television
Blue = Water
Green = Sewer
Pink = Temporary survey markings
White = Proposed excavation

Helpful Digging Hints

Unless you''re a professional, don''t use excavation equipment in your yard. Do your digging with hand tools, or enlist the assistance of a plumber. If excavating, ditching, trenching, drilling, or blasting activity is to be done on or adjacent to your property, call your gas company yourself. It''s an extra measure of caution that could save someone''s life.

Did you know?

  • Natural gas is an efficient, low-cost fuel.
It makes our lives better. Nature''s miracle fuel heats our homes, cooks our meals, cleans and dries our clothes, produces hot water on demand, lights our yards, and even powers vehicles. It benefits our environment as well-natural gas is the cleanest and most efficient source of energy available.
If you detect a leak outdoors, here''s what you do:
  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Call your local gas company immediately.
Simple Rules for Natural Gas Safety
Use your senses to detect the signals of a possible leak -- look, smell and listen. If you find a leak, contact your local fire and police department immediately. Evacuate the area where the leak is detected and stay away until officials tell you it''s safe to return. Locate underground lines before digging starts on your property. Call your city. Have gas appliances and fireplace chimneys checked every year to be sure they''re working properly. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home that carries the approval of the American Gas Association and the Gas Research Institute.