Smell gas? Act fast! Knoxville utility shares natural gas safety advice

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.

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