PIPELINE SAFETY OFFICE

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Safety Tips for the Public

Natural gas is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic gas.  A chemical odorant, similar to the smell of rotten eggs, is added to natural gas as a safety measure so that any escaping natural gas can be readily detected and reported to the appropriate pipeline operator for corrective action.  The transportation and distribution of natural gas are governed by strict technical and safety codes enforced by the Arkansas Public Service Commission's Pipeline Safety Office.  As a result of these safety codes, natural gas pipelines in the State have an excellent safety record.

Please take the time to read and practice these safety tips and procedures.  A small investment of time and attention now could pay off in fewer service calls, energy savings and a safer home.

The following safety tips apply to all natural gas equipment in your home:

  • Never try to install, repair, adjust or modify natural gas appliances yourself. Only a qualified professional knows the technology and the relevant gas codes that must be followed.
  • Have your natural gas equipment and exhaust venting systems inspected and serviced regularly by a qualified professional to ensure safe, efficient operation.
  • When natural gas equipment is working properly, there is no odor. Do not ignore the smell of the odorant in natural gas. If there is a gas odor inside your home:
  1. LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. Do not stop to open windows or doors.  Do not turn lights, appliances or equipment on or off, or unplug any electrical devices as these may cause a spark. Do not use garage door openers.  Do not start a car or operate any power equipment.  Do not attempt to locate gas leaks yourself.
  2. Call your local gas company from a neighbor's phone or from a cellular phone once you are well away from the building.
  3. Keep everyone away from the building until given the "all clear" from a gas company employee.
  • Natural gas equipment needs lots of air for safe burning and venting.  Improper venting of exhaust can cause the accumulation of carbon monoxide, which can lead to frequent headaches, nausea, or death by asphyxiation.
  • If the pilot light or burner flames of your furnace or other natural gas equipment look yellow, turn off the equipment and have it checked by a qualified professional. The flames should appear blue or mostly blue with a tip of yellow. The only exception to this rule is a modern natural gas fireplace, designed with ceramic logs and realistic yellow flames.
  • Keep the equipment area clean and do not store things on top of or next to the equipment. Do not cover the controls, air intakes or exhaust vents of any natural gas equipment.
  • Do not store flammable materials anywhere within the immediate vicinity of natural gas burning equipment (such as a water heater).

To avoid a potential pipeline accident caused by outside forces, have the location of all utility lines marked before excavating by hand or with equipment. In fact, to comply with Arkansas law, you must call Arkansas One-Call at 1-800-482-8998 a minimum of two days before you plan to dig. Once your call is made the following will happen:

  • Operators with underground facilities in the area where the excavation is planned are notified.  This will assure proper notification to the respective municipalities, natural gas, electric, communications, and water/sewer utilities.
  • Within 48 hours after being contacted, operator crews either mark their underground facilities with color-coded paint marks or flags, or tell the excavator they have no lines in the area.  This will assure the proper notification to the respective municipalities, as well as the natural gas, power and communications utilities.

If you are utilizing a contractor for your excavation work, make sure that the contractor calls Arkansas One-Call two days prior to the commencement of excavating.

Spanish Translation of this Page

  • Arkansas Gas Association
  • American Gas Association
  • National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
  • Pipeline Safety Trust promotes fuel transportation safety
  • Arkansas One Call is the state-wide call before you dig center for excavation in Arkansas
  • 811 Promise