If You Smell Gas
Confirmed Leak from physical contact with a gas line or an appliance
- Call 911, tell the operator that there is a confirmed gas escape at your address.
- Evacuate the building of all personnel. If in a multiple occupancy building notify the other tenants also and get well away from the building
- DO NOT turn on or off any electrical devices as a spark could cause ignition
- If there is maintenance personnel on site, turn the gas off at the meter
- Designate someone with knowledge of the building to direct the fire department to the gas meter and location of the occurrence and let the F/D know if the gas has been turned off.
- Do not re enter the building until given permission by the Fire Department
- Contact your heating / air conditioning contractor to make the repairs.
- The source of the leak (escape) may be able to be isolated and made safe so that other heating appliances that were not faulty can be restarted following a mandatory pressure test of the gas line.
If you think...you smell gas
- If unsure, notify other staff to confirm if they sense the same odor (similar to rotten eggs or sulfur)
- Check any propane lift trucks in the area (remember propane gas is heavier than air so if you smell gas at floor level this could be the source. Check with the operator of the lift truck to see if he has recently changed the fuel tank and removed the empty tank to outdoors. (it is against the law to store propane cylinders inside of a building whether empty or full)
- Check any appliance in the immediate vicinity, specifically in the vicinity of the gas supply line
- Go to a mezzanine level to "smell" for the odor (remember natural gas is lighter than air so it will accumulate at the ceiling level)
- Do not ventilate the space until you are sure of a leak as fresh air may make the odor harder to detect.
- Check any floor drains in the area of the odor. It is not uncommon for the "trap" of a floor drain to dry out over the course of the winter and allow sewer gases to vent back into the space. If this is found to be the cause simply pour a pail of water down the drain to refill the trap.
- If the odor is detected in the immediate vicinity of an appliance, turn the thermostat for the appliance to the lowest seting to turn the unit off.
- Notify your heating contractor for further instructions or follow up of the report
- Do Not use an open flame for leak testing. Use soapy water on fittings that are suspect of leaking