What to do during a gas outage or leak
How to prepare for or prevent a gas outage or leak
- Know where the shutoff valves are located in your home.
- Contact your service provider to schedule regular inspections of your appliances, furnace, vents and chimney.
- If you have indoor gas lines and a meter, keep them free, clear and untouched at all times.
- Learn how to correctly operate your natural gas appliances like a furnace, hot water heater, cooker, and fireplace. Improper use can result in carbon monoxide (CO) emissions, which can lead to serious illness or death.
- If you have natural gas in your home, maintain a CO detector.
Difference between sour gas and natural gas
Sour gas differs from the natural gas that may fuel appliances in your home. Natural gas in your home has an additive so that a leak in your home can be detected by smell. Even though the smell of natural gas in your home differs from that of sour gas, both have been described as a “rotten egg” type of smell. Sour gas is not used in its raw form to fuel appliances. A sour gas leak would occur outside from a well or pipeline, although you may smell gas in your home. Find more information about sour gas.
Staying safe during a natural gas outage or leak
How to tell when there's a leak
A pungent, rotten egg odour is added to natural gas so it is detected for safety reasons. You may also hear the sound of escaping gas from a pipe.
Gas inside a building
- Leave the building or area immediately. As you exit, leave open any windows and doors.
- Leave lights and appliances alone as they may be a source of ignition.
- Call 911 from a safe location using a neighbour’s landline or cell phone.
- Call your service provider's emergency line.
- If you or a family member experience respiratory distress, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Gas outside a building
- Call 911 immediately from a safe distance.
- Keep people away from the area.
- Do not smoke or light any flames.
Staying warm in winter during a gas outage
- Keep your home from cooling down: close blinds and drapes, avoid opening doors, and put on extra layers of clothing.
- Be cautious when using other sources of heat:
- Avoid wood fireplaces (you need to open a nearby window). Indoor electric heaters are safe to use. Learn more about safe electrical and gas appliance use.
- Fuel burning applicances emit carbon monoxide - a clear, colourless, and odourless gas that can cause illness or death. Never use fuel-burning appliances inside, this includes:
- camp stoves
- kerosene heaters