Bookmark This Page: Gas Leak Information ​

Natural gas is one of the safest and cleanest burning fossil fuels, with over 177 million Americans using it to warm their homes, heat their food and power their appliances. But just as the use of electricity requires certain safety precautions, so too does the use of natural gas.

Although extremely rare, natural gas leaks inside or outside your home could lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Thankfully, natural gas leaks can be detected with a gas detector and the use of three senses: sight, sound and smell.

At SCANA Energy, we care about your home safety. Here are four simple steps to help you and your family detect if there is a natural gas LEAK:

  • L: Listen for the Symptoms: Most commonly, a hissing sound is associated with natural gas leaks – and we’re not talking about the noise from your tea kettle. This faint hiss can be heard when your natural gas appliances are turned on or off. While natural gas leaks may occur indoors, the greatest chance for a leak actually happens outside. This is because there are over 2 million miles of underground pipelines throughout the United States. You may be able to detect leaks in gas pipelines if you hear a hissing sound coming from beneath the ground.
  • E: Eyes on the Warning Signs: Indoors, you may become aware of a natural gas leak if your stovetop’s blue flames suddenly turn orange or yellow. A discolored flame indicates that the appliance is not working properly and could be giving off harmful fumes. In addition, an excessive amount of ash or soot around a pilot light could signal a larger problem. However, the majority of visible signs are outdoors. These include seeing dirt blowing up from the ground on a windless day or witnessing bubbling water without explanation.  Discolored or dead vegetation in an otherwise green area is also a sign, as natural gas blocks a plant’s source of oxygen.
  • A: Aroma is Key: What does a gas leak smell like? Although natural gas is a colorless, odorless fuel, a chemical called mercaptan is added to it as a safety precaution. This gives natural gas a distinctive odor associated with rotten eggs. If you ever smell a sulfur-like odor, don’t assume something has gone bad in your fridge – consider it a warning that harmful vapors may be loose in the air.
  • K: Keep Away: If you suspect a natural gas leak inside or outside your home, immediately stop what you’re doing, leave the premises and call 911. Inhaling high concentrations of natural gas could lead to fatigue, lightheadedness or even loss of consciousness. Moreover, because natural gas is highly combustible, a leak can increase the risk of fire or explosion.

If you suspect a gas leak, leave the premises. Once you vacate, call 911 or Atlanta Gas Light at 770.907.4231 (inside metro Atlanta) or 1.877.427.4321 (outside metro Atlanta) to report it.

As one of the best natural gas companies in Atlanta, we care about your safety. We recommend you bookmark this page, print out our handy infographic or take our gas leak symptoms quiz so you can stay aware of LEAKs!

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