Natural Gas Shut Off
If there is any utility I am most cautious about, it is the gas. As part of you preparations, you should know where and how to use the natural gas shut off.
Natural gas actually has no smell. However, the chemical mercaptan is added and it creates an odor, what most people describe as rotten eggs, so a leak can be detected.
While natural gas is a safe and clean fuel, it is highly combustible and a leak can create a risk of fire or explosion.
Natural Gas Signs of a Leak
Typically natural gas is shut off because of a suspected leak. Besides the smell of rotten eggs possibly indicating a gas leak, some other potential signs of a leak include:
- The sound of whistling, roaring, or hissing coming from a natural gas appliance.
- Damaged gas lines going to a natural gas appliance.
- Grass or shrubs changing color, looking more brown or rusty, could also be an indicator of gas leaking out of the pipe.
- Unusual bubbling or soil movement, particularly if it’s near the natural gas line going to your house (remember the recommendation to photograph your utility lines…this could help you know if the bubbling is near your gas line).
- An exposed gas pipeline after a fire, earthquake, or other disaster.
Natural Gas Leak?
- Don’t do anything that might cause a spark, such as unplugging an electrical device, turning on/off a light switch, or even using a phone.
- Immediately extinguish anything that is burning—candles, cigarettes—and don’t light a match, stove, or cigarette lighter.
- If you can quickly do so, let fresh air inside by opening windows and doors.
- Turn off the main gas supply, at the meter, and don’t turn it back on until safe to do so.