Detecting a Gas Leak

First, it’s important to know the properties of gas that allow you to detect a natural gas leak.

Natural gas is colorless and does not naturally have a scent so an odorant is added to allow anybody to detect a leak. The odorant gives the gas a rotten egg smell.

Some other common signs of a natural gas leak besides the odor may be a faint blowing or hissing sound coming from equipment or pipes, dirt being blown into the air from the ground, water being blown into the air around a pond or creek, fire coming from the ground for no apparent reason, brown patches in vegetation near a pipeline right-of-way, or a very dry spot in a moist field.

If you suspect a gas leak, follow these steps:

  • Walk away from the immediate area and warn others to stay away
  • Leave any doors you exit unlocked for emergency responders
  • Do not operate electrical switches or equipment including garage door openers, vehicles, or telephones
  • Once at a safe location, notify Roanoke Gas at (540) 777-0623 or call 911
  • Do not go back to the area until notified it is safe by an emergency responder