Natural gas is a safe, clean, and affordable source of energy in our community, but like any fuel source, you have to use it carefully. KUB conducts proactive safety surveys to monitor, operate, and maintain its natural gas distribution system. This information is used to make repairs and determine replacement programs. But natural gas leaks do happen, and they are most common on customer owned fuel lines and appliances, so it is important that you’re familiar with key natural gas safety procedures:
- Remember the three Rs: Recognize. React. KUB Responds
- Recognize. You can recognize a natural gas leak by sound when the gas makes a hissing sound as it leaves the pipe. You might also see brown or dead vegetation (without obvious explanation) in an area where a natural gas pipeline is buried. Or, you might smell the natural gas, which is the most common way a natural gas leak is detected. KUB adds a harmless chemical called mercaptan to its natural gas supply so it smells similar to rotten eggs.
- React. You should react by immediately leaving the area. Go to a location where you can no longer smell or hear the natural gas leak. Alert those in the area as you go, and take them with you as you leave. Don’t stop to turn off lights or do anything that could cause a spark. Simply leave.
- KUB Responds. When you have reacted and reached your safe area, call KUB at 865-524-2911. KUB will respond quickly and for free to investigate the natural gas leak and provide you with further guidance.
Public Do’s and Don’ts (Recognize. React. KUB Responds.)
- Call KUB at 865-524-2911
- Investigate the leak yourself
- Turn on or off the natural gas
- Turn on or off appliances
- Stay near the leak
- We will conduct a free leak investigation with a trained, qualified employee.
Leaks are most common on customer owned fuel lines and appliances, but can also be caused by excavation damage.
- Customer Fuel Line Piping – Metal piping can corrode over time if not properly protected. KUB surveys the service line piping from the gas main to the outlet of the meter. Customers are responsible to maintain their above and below ground customer owned fuel line piping and fittings. Metallic customer fuel line piping should be inspected regularly for corrosion that could lead to small leaks, and it is especially important to inspect buried metallic customer fuel line piping. If you see corrosion, KUB recommends that you use a trained and qualified plumbing, HVAC, or other professional with natural gas piping experience.
- Appliances – Keep your natural gas appliances and/or equipment in good working condition by following these safety tips:
- Have your natural gas appliances and equipment cleaned and/or inspected for safety once a year by a trained, qualified plumbing, HVAC, or other qualified professional to ensure proper combustion.
- Maintain proper air circulation around gas appliances at all times.
- A gas flame should burn bright blue. A yellow or orange flame could indicate improper combustion or venting. Have your appliance checked if you believe your system is not working properly as carbon monoxide can be emitted from incomplete combustion.
- Keep flammable or combustible items away from gas appliances and equipment.
- Use natural gas equipment only for what it's designed to do. For example, you should never use a stove or oven for heating.
- Check your appliance’s connectors and replace any uncoated brass gas appliance connectors.
- Excavation Damage – Customers can also be excavators. Digging into buried utility lines can be costly to you and your neighbors, and result in outages, harm to the digger, and costly fines and repairs. No matter how large or small the project, you should call 811 three days prior to digging. Not only is it safe, but it is also the law.