Natural gas safety basics

Natural gas is odorless until we add mercaptan, an odorant similar to rotten eggs, to help detect leaks. If you smell natural gas or have a natural gas emergency, leave immediately and call us from another location.

Natural gas leaks: 866-556-6005

Safety tips

Natural gas is safe when properly used. Follow these tips to prevent accidents:

  • Never use your oven or range for heating a home.
  • Install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of sleeping areas, per Illinois law.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher in a kitchen.
  • Have a qualified contractor inspect furnaces, vents, appliance connectors and chimneys for corrosion and blockages at least every other year.
  • Keep areas around furnaces and water heaters clean and free of clutter and flammable liquids.
  • Clean or replace air filters in heating systems at least annually.
  • Keep chimney flues and appliance vents clean and in good repair.
  • Follow a space heater's instructions carefully and use with proper ventilation.
  • Clean range tops by washing burners with water and mild detergent.
  • See if gas range flames are crisp, quiet and blue. Yellow flames indicate need for adjustment.
  • Check water heater air intakes, drain pipes, controls and flue to ensure they are unobstructed.
  • Set water heater temperature to 120 degrees F to prevent scalding.
  • Keep gas meters free of debris, snow, ice, vegetation and other obstructions.
  • Never hang things from natural gas piping.
  • Have corrugated stainless steel tubing inspected to make sure is properly bonded and grounded.
  • Call 811 or the local utility locating service at least two days before you plan to dig.