As the cold weather approaches and residents begin firing up their heat sources for the first time, NYSEG has issued a reminder to be vigilant about noticing and reporting natural gas leaks.
A natural gas leak is usually recognized by smell, sight, or sound, but can be tricky for someone who doesn’t know exactly what to look out for. NYSEG offers the following guide to help:
Smell: Natural gas is colorless and odorless. For safety, a distinctive sulfur-like odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added so that customers can recognize it quickly. If customers smell natural gas, they should immediately get up, get out and call for help from a safe location.
Sight: A white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust are also warning signs of a gas leak. Customers may also see vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason.
Sound: Customers may also hear unusual noise like roaring, hissing or whistling.
If NYSEG customers are even slightly suspectful of a natural gas leak, they should adhere to the following:
- Get up, get out and get away. Then immediately call NYSEG at 1.800.572.1121, RG&E at 1.800.743.1702 or 911 from a safe location.
- Do not smoke or operate electrical switches or appliances. These items may produce a spark that might ignite the natural gas and cause an explosion.
- Do not assume someone else will report the condition.
- Provide the exact location, including cross streets.
- Let company personnel know if sewer construction or digging activities are going on in the area.