In 2009, the Fort Wayne Fire Department responded to 178 incidents involving the smell of natural gas. These incidents ranged from a contractor inadvertently digging up a natural gas line or an unlit pilot light in a residence. Please follow these steps in the event you are detecting the smell of natural gas. Don’t hesitate to call 911. The Fort Wayne Fire Department in partnership with NIPSCO would like to offer these safety tips:
1. If a strong odor of gas is present, stay calm, leave the building and call 911. (The number for your gas company-NIPSCO-gas leak emergencies-1-800-634-3524) immediately, from a neighbor’s house or another phone outside the home.
2. Do not light a match, use a phone, or flip any electrical switches on or off. Do not start a car. To be safe, don’t do anything that could create a spark or ignition point.
3. Also, never relight any gas equipment until all accumulated gas has dissipated.
How to recognize a pipeline leak
Though rare, natural gas pipeline leaks can occur due to natural disasters, damage by third-party contractors or hidden corrosion. That’s why it’s important to learn how to spot — and respond to — a pipeline leak.
1. SMELL the air. There is a distinctive odor to natural gas so that leaks are easier to detect.
2. LISTEN for leaks. A hissing, whistling or roaring sound near a pipeline may indicate escaping natural gas.
3. LOOK for clues:
• A damaged connection to a gas appliance.
• Dead or dying vegetation over or near a pipeline.
• A fire near a pipeline.
• Exposed pipeline after an earthquake, fire, flood or other disaster.