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Play It Safe Around Natural Gas

Knowing good safety guidelines can help you use it wisely in your home and community.

DO NOT play on or around natural gas meters or equipment. Make sure outside natural gas equipment is free of snow and ice in inclement weather. Prevention and wise usage are the first steps to safety.

Digging Safely

Digging causes most natural gas leaks and safety concerns.

If you dig before finding out where underground cables and pipelines are located, you risk hitting and damaging them.

When you call 811 first, you and your family stay safe.
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Marker Flags
  • Every state has a system of marking property with colored flags or paint to show the location of underground cables or pipelines.
  • These flags are color-coded for the type of pipelines they mark.
  • Natural gas pipelines are marked with yellow flags.
  • All marker flags have an important job to do, such as marking the underground cables and pipelines that bring us natural gas, water, cable TV, etc.
  • We should never move them, take them out or dig near them.
  • Call 811 before you dig!

How to Recognize a Natural Gas Leak

Natural gas leaks are rare, but it is important to know and be able to recognize the signs of a natural gas leak. We use our eyes, ears and nose to detect a leak.


To help you SMELL a leak, natural gas companies add a chemical (mercaptan) that smells like rotten eggs.


A leaking natural gas pipe might make a hissing sound you can HEAR.


Outside near a gas leak, you might SEE blowing dirt, bubbling water or a small area of dead plants.

If You Suspect a Natural Gas Leak

If you suspect a natural gas leak, leave your house immediately and leave the door wide open as you walk out (for ventilation), tell an adult and call 911 from a safe distance. Get out! Tell an adult! Call 911 and your natural gas company!
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DO NOT use any device that might cause a spark (using the phone, turning off/on the light switch, opening/closing the garage door).

DO NOT light a match, turn on your car or any motor.

DO NOT try to repair the leak, leave that to the professionals.

Finally, DO NOT return until the professionals tell you it is safe to return.