How to Detect a Natural Gas Leak and What to Do If There is One

How to detect a natural gas leak

  • Smell
    Transmission natural gas has a stale petroleum/hydrocarbon smell.  Before it is delivered to your home, natural gas has mercaptan added which gives the gas a sulphur or “rotten egg” smell to help detect leaks.

  • Sight
    Natural gas is colourless, but vapour and “ground frosting” may be visible when high pressure gas escapes.  A gas leak may also be indicated by bubbles in wet or flooded areas, distinct patches of dead vegetation, dust blowing from a hole in the ground or flames if the leak has ignited.

  • Sound
    A hissing or roaring noise along the right-of-way of a pipeline could also indicate a natural gas leak.

What to do if you suspect a leak inside

  • Evacuate your premises and leave the door open when you exit.
  • Don't use electrical switches, telephones, appliances, garage door opener, etc.
  • Call Union Gas immediately from a neighbour’s home at 1-877-969-0999
  • Don’t use lighters or matches and do not smoke.

What to do if you suspect a leak outside

  • Call Union Gas from a neighbour's home immediately at 1-877-969-0999
  • Keep clear of the area.
  • Don’t start any motors or motor vehicles near the area of the gas odour.
  • Don’t use lighters or matches and do not smoke.

How Union Gas will respond

In the event of a natural gas emergency, the Union Gas emergency response team or local community authority will:

  1. Respond to the incident site.
  2. Identify the source of the problem and ensure the emergency site has been cleared of anyone whose safety may be at risk.
  3. Make the situation safe.
  4. Advise the customer of their options with respect to the piping system or gas-fired equipment repair.