Every day, over two million miles of underground pipeline safely transports and distributes natural gas to more than 68 million homes and businesses like yours. Carrying one of the safest, most reliable and environmentally friendly fuels in use today, this pipeline system is buried underground not only for safety reasons, but also to protect it from the weather and ensure uninterrupted service.
Natural gas companies work hard to protect their pipelines from natural hazards and third-party damage. In addition to installing highly visible pipeline markers, many companies perform aerial, ground and marine inspections; conduct annual leak surveys; and install sophisticated leak detection equipment. To build awareness, these companies also sponsor public education programs, meet regularly with public and emergency officials and conduct excavator education sessions.
While it's unlikely that a problem could occur, incidents do happen. That's why it's important for everyone to learn about natural gas safety.
Detecting a leak
When it comes to detecting a gas leak, it's best to trust your senses:
SMELL — To help you SMELL a leak from a gas line or appliance, a familiar odor like rotten eggs is often added to natural gas.
SEE — Near a gas leak, you might SEE blowing dirt, bubbling water or an unusual area of dead vegetation.
HEAR — A leaking pipeline might make a hissing sound you can HEAR.
If you recognize even one of the above signs, walk away, right away. When clear of the area, call your local natural gas company and 9-1-1 for emergency response. Emergency officials should begin evacuating and securing the area and providing traffic control and emergency services if necessary.
Call before you dig—it's the law
Remember to contact the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS) at 8-1-1, at least two working days before you start to dig for any landscape or construction project. Excavators planning any digging, ditching, drilling, leveling or plowing activity must contact OUPS as well. For more information about OUPS and calling before you dig click here.
To learn more...
For more information about natural gas safety, click on the appropriate link below:
If you're a member of the general public, click here.
If you're an emergency official, click here.
If you're an excavator, click here.
If you're a public official, click here.
About Natural Gas
• General Public
• Where is natural gas
found in you home?
• Emergency Officials
• Right of Way FAQs
• Public Officials
Operator Media Kit
Educator Lesson Plan
Call Before You Dig—OUPS
Suspect a natural
gas leak right now?
Don’t touch or turn off your computer—walk away, right away. When clear of the area, call your local natural gas company or 9-1-1 for emergency response.