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Natural gas safety tips from Xcel Energy Center

Stay safe by understanding the danger signs around natural gas leaks.
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Article provided by Xcel Energy Center.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Here are some tips on natural gas safety and how to recognize the danger signs.

Smell: Natural gas has no odor, so a harmless odorant called mercaptan is added

to help you detect a leak. Many people describe the odor of mercaptan as similar

to rotten eggs or sulfur, but it may smell differently to you.

Hear: Leaking natural gas may produce a hissing or blowing sound.

See: A leak also may cause dust, dirt or debris to fly or create blowing or

continuous bubbling in water or kill grass or plants for no apparent reason.

Respond: If you detect the smell of natural gas or suspect a natural gas leak,

immediately get everyone to a safe location and follow these safety tips:

  • Do not turn on or off electrical switches or unplug appliances.
  • Avoid using electric appliances such as garage door openers or telephones of any type.
  • Do not start up or shut down motor vehicles or any other electrical equipment.
  • Avoid open flames or other ignition sources.
  • Call Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-2999 and 9-1-1 in an emergency.