When You Smell Gas

When You Smell Gas

How to Detect a Natural Gas Leak

A natural gas leak is easy to identify if you use your senses. Remember that natural gas is lighter than air and will seek the path of least resistance when it flows freely.


In its natural state, natural gas is colorless and odorless. We add an odorant called mercaptan to natural gas which gives it a distinctive smell that is similar to rotten eggs.


Natural gas does not spill. If natural gas leaks, it safely dissipates into the atmosphere. Look for these signs of escaping natural gas:

  • Dirt being blown or appearing to be thrown into the air
  • Water at a pond, creek or other wet area bubbling or being blown into the air
  • Fire coming from the ground or appearing to burn above the ground
  • Dry or frozen spots on the ground, especially near a known pipeline or right-of-way 


Listen for the hissing, blowing or roaring sound of natural gas escaping from a pipe,

If you sense any of these signs of a natural gas leak, from a safe place call our emergency number at 1-888-460-4332 and 911.