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Gas Safety in the Home

Natural gas is great for heating, cooking and other uses in the home. It has an excellent safety record due to the physical characteristics of the gas itself. Possessing a very narrow range of flammability, natural gas only allows for combustion in a concentration of 4 to 15 percent per volume of air. Above and below these amounts, it will not burn.

Natural gas is lighter than air, and thus, can dissipate into the air rapidly, making accidental combustion difficult. To further prevent accidents, natural gas has a very high ignition temperature, at about 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is almost twice the ignition temperature for gasoline. All together, these factors add up to making accidental ignition or combustion of natural gas an unlikely event.

Nonetheless, helping you learn how to use clean burning natural gas safely throughout your home is one of our top priorities.

If you smell gas...

Do not attempt to locate gas leaks.

Do not remain in the building when there is a strong gas odor. From a safe distance, be ready to let a gas utility representative into your home or business so he or she can investigate.

Do not turn any electrical switches, appliances or lights on or off or unplug electrical appliances when there is a strong gas odor.

Do not use telephones in the area of a strong gas odor.

Do not use elevators.

Do not position or operate vehicles and power equipment where leaking gas may be present.

Do not smoke or use lighters, matches or other open flames.

Keep Your Gas Appliances Operating Safely

Keep forced-air furnace filters clean. Clean the filter or replace them according to the manufacturer's recommendation.

Avoid using or storing these products near the furnace: paint stripper, fabric or water softener, bleach, adhesives, or salt for melting ice. The chlorine or fluorine in these items can lead to furnace corrosion.

If your owner's manual recommends it, oil the furnace fan, motor and bearings.

Keep your heat registers and cold-air returns clean so the air can flow properly. Also, arrange your furniture and drapes so they don't block the air flow.

Have a qualified heating contractor inspect your furnace or boiler annually. A properly tuned furnace saves energy and helps avoid costly repairs.

Check the flue to make sure it is clean and open. Any fuel that does not burn completely can create harmful levels of carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a gas with no color, odor or taste. It can collect in your home if a fuel-burning appliance isn't working properly or venting as it should.


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