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Safety

3 Things to Know About Natural Gas 

23 Jan 2024

From heating your home to cooking your food, chances are you encounter natural gas as part of your everyday life. In fact, according to the American Gas Association, natural gas supplies almost one-quarter of all the energy in the United States.  

Here are three things you need to know about natural gas and how to protect yourself and your family in case of an emergency. 

1. Natural gas is a safe energy source. 

Natural gas is a clean, reliable, and affordable energy source used by millions of homes and businesses across the U.S. It is the cleanest traditional fuel available and enhances our lives in many ways. However, like any fuel, it’s important to use it safely. Potential risks arise when it is handled improperly, a leak occurs, or there is damage to the system. 

2. Natural gas is colorless and odorless. 

Natural gas is invisible. To make natural gas detectable, an odorant called Mercaptan is added and causes a smell similar to rotten eggs. This way, you can smell gas in the event of a leak. If you hear a hissing sound or see blowing dirt, grass, or leaves near a pipeline, that could also be a potential gas leak.  

3. If you smell rotten eggs, act fast. 

If you smell gas, evacuate the building or area immediately. All people and animals should be evacuated from the facility or home, no matter their proximity to the potential leak. Move at least the length of a football field away from the building. 

When you evacuate, leave your door open and do not smoke, use your cell phone, or touch any light switches on your way out, these could all cause a spark. Once you are outside and a safe distance away, approximately the length of a football field from the building, call 911 or UGI at 800-276-2722. You should never assume that someone else has already called. 

Don’t take any chances with natural gas safety. If you think you smell rotten eggs, leave the area and call 911 or contact UGI immediately. UGI investigates all reports quickly as a free service to our community. A UGI service technician will inspect the home or building and let you know when it is safe to re-enter.