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news release

NYSEG and RG&E: If You Smell Natural Gas Get Up, Get Out and Contact Your Utility or 911

Rochester, NY – NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, remind their customers to take immediate action if they smell natural gas or suspect a natural gas leak: get up, get out and contact their utility or 911 from a neighbor’s phone.

“While natural gas is extremely safe under normal system operating conditions, when a leak occurs it can be dangerous,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “That is why it is imperative for anyone who smells natural gas to report it. We respond to reports of natural gas odors free of charge, 24/7 to make sure everyone is safe.”

How to Detect a Natural Gas Leak
• Smell: Natural gas is naturally odorless. For safety’s sake, a distinctive odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added. Note: Not all natural gas in larger transmission lines is odorized.

• Sight: A white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust and vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason.

• Sound: Roaring, hissing or whistling.

Natural Gas Safety Tips
• The leading cause of accidents in both natural gas transmission and distribution systems is digging near those facilities. To help lessen the likelihood of damage to underground facilities, the law requires excavators to call 811 to have underground facilities marked before any work begins. Homeowners are also encouraged to call 811 before doing any excavation work.

• Customers should have a professional check heating systems, flues and vents once a year to ensure that everything is working properly. This annual inspection will also help reduce the likelihood of carbon monoxide issues. Natural gas appliances (ranges, clothes dryers, fireplaces) should also be checked periodically to ensure they are in good working order.

• Any work on natural gas piping, equipment and appliances should be left to professionals.