Natural Gas Safety Tips

Natural Gas Safety Tips

One of the most important responsibilities of the New York State Public Service Commission is to ensure that utility service is reliable and as safe as possible. Once gas service is brought to your home or business, however, it is up to you to make sure it is used properly and safely. The following tips are provided to help you learn the “do’s” and “don'ts” with regard to gas use to prevent accidents in and around your home or business.


Natural gas is an important source of energy for many households and businesses: it is used to fuel stoves, water heaters, dryers, furnaces and other appliances. However, if not used carefully, natural gas can be dangerous. Follow these tips to safely use natural gas:

LEARN THE SIGNS OF A LEAK: Natural gas leaks are rare, but there are signs that indicate a leak has occurred.

    · Smell: A strong odor, like rotten eggs. Natural gas has no scent, so a strong odorant is added to help you detect possible leaks.

    · Sight: Bubbles in standing water, dirt or debris blowing into the air or vegetation that appears dead around the pipeline area.

    · Sound: A roaring, hissing or whistling sound.


    · Evacuate everyone from your home immediately and leave the door open. Move away from the premises and call you utility from a safe location such as a neighbor’s house.

    · Don’t use/do anything that could create a spark, such as light a match, turn appliances or lights on or off, use a telephone or cell phone, ring a doorbell or start a car.


    · Do not use a gas range (oven or burner) to heat your home—prolonged use of an open oven in a closed house or apartment can lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide, an odorless, poisonous gas.

    · Never use a gas grill to cook or heat in the house or any enclosed space like the garage or basement. This practice can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

    · Keep the area around natural gas appliances clean and unblocked.

    · Keep cleaning products, gasoline, paints and other combustible materials away from natural gas appliances.

    · If the pilot light goes out, make sure all knobs are turned off and wait a few minutes before reigniting. Light the match first and hold it to the pilot light before turning on the gas. If you have difficulty getting the pilot light to reignite, turn the gas valve off and call a repair professional to assist you.

REPORT GAS ODORS & SUSPECTED LEAKS: Contact your utility at:

Utility NameUtility Contact Number
Central Hudson Gas800-942-8274 or 911
Con Ed Gas800-752-6633 or 911
Corning Gas800-834-2134
National Fuel Gas800-444-3130
National Grid Gas:
Long Island
Metro NYC
NYSEG Gas800-572-1121
O&R Gas800-533-5325
RG&E Gas800-743-1702
St. Lawrence800-673-3301


Digging or excavation projects can unintentionally damage underground pipes and jeopardize safety. Knowing where utility lines are buried before you dig will help you avoid harming service lines, protect you from injury and prevent disruption in services, property damage and expensive repair costs.

    · If you are planning any digging or excavation on your property, you or your excavator is required to call “811” (the National Call Before You Dig number) two to ten working days before you dig.

    · 811 is a toll-free call that is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Your call will be routed to your local One Call Center. Tell the operator about your project.

    · Center personnel will notify the affected gas utility who will send crews to mark the approximate locations of their lines at no cost to you. You will know what is below and can dig safely.

For More Information:

Your local utility distribution company can provide you with information about their gas safety policies and procedures.

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