What’s That Smell? Sniffing Out the Truth About Natural Gas

Is there something in the air! What does natural gas smell like?

The smell of bacon cooking on the stovetop? A perfect start to the day. But if that bacon starts smelling like it’s being served with a side of rotten eggs, you might be dealing with something different altogether — a natural gas leak.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Curious as to how natural gas gets its smell and why? Turn that “pee-yew” into a “phew” with our simple video:

Here's more information to help you become a natural gas safety expert. Let’s break that down:

So, what does natural gas smell like?

Believe it or not, in its original form, natural gas is actually undetectable to the human nose. Instead, an additive called “mercaptan” is added to the fuel, giving natural gas that rotten egg smell.

Why does it smell?

Actually, it’s the law; according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Code 192.625, natural gas must be “readily detectable by a person with a normal sense of smell.” This is so our noses can be our built-in safety detectors for possible natural gas leaks. If the symptoms of a natural gas leak go unnoticed, there could be dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your household.

What do I do if I smell natural gas?

If you smell something sulfur-like in the air (or skunk-like, rotten egg-like, or trash-like), don’t stick around to see if your breakfast has gone bad. You and your family need to clear the premises immediately. Once you’ve left the property, call 9-1-1 and Atlanta Glass Light (AGL)  at 770-907-4231 (inside metro Atlanta) or 1-877-427-4321 (outside metro Atlanta) to report the possible leak.

Now you “nose!”

SCANA Energy is here to help you stay safe and protect your home and family

Natural gas has wonderful benefits for your home and family when it’s used safely. While we help ensure that your gas is properly connected and working, it doesn’t hurt to know things like what natural gas smells like and what to do if you have an issue. If you need to contact us about your service, our customer service team is ready to help and can be reached at 1-877-467-2262.

You May Also Like

Rate Plan Availability

The highlighted counties are eligible for fixed rates, as certain rates are not available in all locations.*

Service Availability Map for Fixed Rates

*For further information regarding availability, please call 1.877.467.2262.