At Home with Lisa: Natural Gas Safety

The snow has now almost completely melted from the top of Mt. Spokane, so it’s time to start working on our yards and digging new holes to plant.

I’ve written before about calling 811 two business days before you dig any holes in your yard. You don’t want to accidently cut a natural gas line.

But what should you do if there is a natural gas leak?

The first step is recognizing there is a natural gas leak. Ordinarily, natural gas is odorless and colorless, so Avista adds the sulfurous, rotten-egg smell to it. Other than the smell, there are a few other ways to tell if there is a leak:

Once you recognize that you have a leak, call 911 and Avista at (800) 227-9187 from a neighbor’s house. Don’t do anything that could cause a spark. Don’t turn on electrical switches, use the telephone or light matches. Get everyone away from the area and don’t go back in until Avista says it is safe to do so.

Along with calling 811 before you dig, there are other ways to stay safe around natural gas. If you have a natural gas water heater, secure it to the wall so it doesn’t fall over. Keep your gas oven or ranges clean to avoid grease fires. Keep children away from gas ovens or other gas appliances. Keep the area around your natural gas furnace or water heater clear and keep anything flammable away from your gas appliances.

I don’t use natural gas, but my old house has a hook-up for it. Avista employees have come by to inspect it a couple of times since I bought my house. They inspect natural gas lines regularly.

Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday.

If you are not sure about natural gas safety, arm yourself with Avista's safety tips.

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  1. At Home with Lisa
  2. Safety