KNOXVILLE (WATE) – With the upcoming cold weather, many people will begin to use more natural gas to heat their homes and businesses.
Natural gas can be a safe and reliable fuel when used properly, but like other sources of energy it can also be hazardous and must be used and treated with care. Dallas Coplin, a Knoxville Utility Board (KUB) Regulatory Specialist shares some of his advice on handling natural gas:
Heating equipment should be maintained properly
- Keep your heating system air filters clean, or replace them monthly before they become clogged with dirt.
- Keep furnace room air vents open. Natural gas appliances require air to burn efficiently.
- Contact a licensed heating or plumbing contractor for heating system repairs.
Know how to recognize a natural gas leak
Signs of a natural gas leak may include any or all of the following:
- Smell – You may smell a “rotten egg” odor. KUB adds a distinctive, pungent odor to our natural gas supply to help you recognize it quickly.
- Sound – You may hear a blowing or hissing sound near a natural gas appliance or a roaring sound near a gas line.
- Sight – You may see bubbling in a wet or flooded area, dry spots in moist areas, or vegetation that is dead or discolored for no apparent reason.
Know how to respond to a natural gas leak
What you should do:
- Leave the area (inside or outside) immediately, and tell others to leave
- Go to a safe location away from any signs of a leak.
- Call KUB at 865-524-2911 right away. We will send a trained technician to perform a free natural gas leak inspection.
The following things could cause a spark, igniting the gas:
- Don’t switch lights or appliances on or off.
- Don’t use any telephone-including cordless or cellular phones.
- Don’t use any electrical devices, including appliances, doorbells, and garage door openers.
- Don’t smoke or use matches or lighters.
- Don’t start or stop a nearby vehicle or machinery.
- Don’t attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off.
- Don’t re-enter the building or return to the area until KUB tells you it is safe to do so. Remember: Your personal safety is top priority.