Signs of a Natural Gas Leak: What to Do When It Happens

Natural gas leaks occur rarely as it flows through underground pipelines. When they do occur, the area must be evacuated immediately and the appropriate emergency services contacted to fix the leak. The gas is flammable and toxic to people in high concentrations.

Practice Awareness

Although gas transmission pipes are buried underground, many have markers to indicate their location; some do not.

These markers do not tell the depth or direction of the pipelines. Before digging or doing other major yard work, building, landscaping or renovations, check with your city and gas company to locate gas lines in the area.

Signs of a Natural Gas Leak

There are several indicators of a potential gas leak. Some of them are more noticeable than others. If you notice any of these signs, contact the local gas company to check for a leak.

  • Natural gas is odorless, but the gas pumped into homes and businesses is treated with a scent like "rotten eggs" to make it detectable in the event of a leak.
  • Dead, discolored or dying vegetation in the midst of healthy grass or plant materials
  • Bubbling where it is wet or flooded
  • Dust blowing up from the ground
  • Blowing or hissing sounds
  • Flames: natural gas burns if it comes into contact with a spark or other burning materials

What to Do
Whenever a gas leak is suspected, evacuate the area immediately and go to a safe location. Take no other action: do not attempt to locate the leak, turn off any gas valves or do anything which could cause the gas to ignite. This includes using electrical devices like telephones or remote controls as well as starting nearby vehicles.

  • Contact the local gas company to report the leak.
  • Do not return to the area until it has been cleared as safe.

Natural gas leaks are potentially dangerous but highly manageable. Practice awareness and safety first when dealing with gas pipelines. When an area appears to show signs of a leak, leave the area and report it immediately. If these guidelines are followed, the rare gas leak occurrence may be addressed quickly and safely.

Are you sensing a natural gas leak in your Indianapolis home? Call Indiana Leak Detection today at (317) 449-2780, and get that leak fixed before it's too dangerous.