Natural Gas Safety

Natural gas safety is very important to us. The safety record of natural gas utilities is outstanding, and it keeps getting better. Midwest Energy offers safety training programs to schools or other groups interested in learning about natural gas safety, as well as these tips about gas safety at your home or business.

Gas Leaks: If You Smell Gas

If you suspect a natural gas leak in your home, business or even outdoors, leave the area immediately. Once everyone is a safe distance away call us at 1-800-222-3121. Do not turn on/off lights, use garage door openers, phones, start a vehicle or anything else that can give off a spark.  Do not attempt to turn off any gas valves. We will send a trained service technician immediately to investigate any emergency leak call.

You can recognize a natural gas leak in the following ways:

  • SIGHT: Blowing dirt, bubbling creaks or ponds, dry spots in moist areas or dead plants surrounded by live green plants near gas lines may be indicators.
  • SMELL: A harmless agent, Mercaptan, is added to natural gas to give it a distinctive “rotten egg” smell.
  • SOUND: An unusual hissing sound near gas appliances or a blowing sound near gas lines can indicate a gas leak.

Call Before You Dig

Kansas 811

Gas, electric, water, telecommunications and sewer lines are just some of the utilities buried underground, sometimes at very shallow depths.  Before you move dirt for any reason – installing a sprinkler system, building a shed, even planting a tree – you should call Kansas One Call by dialing 811.  When you call two business days in advance of digging, crews will locate and mark all underground utilities at no charge to you.  By knowing what is below ground, you can save yourself the headache and expense of repairing any utility lines you could damage by digging into them.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide, often called CO, is a poisonous, odorless, colorless, tasteless, and non-irritating gas. CO is formed by incomplete combustion, and when inhaled by people or pets, it can be fatal.

Parked vehicles are the most common source of CO poisoning.  Natural gas appliances account for a small percentage of all CO poisonings, particularly space heating equipment in where vents and chimneys are not properly installed or maintained. Other causes include misuse of appliances such as improper use of ranges and ovens for space heating.

A person exposed to high levels of CO may complain of dizziness, headache, nausea, sleepiness or other flu-like symptoms without fever. If you experience these symptoms, evacuate people and pets from the building immediately and call 911 or Midwest Energy, at 1-800-222-3121.

You can prevent CO poisoning by following a few tips:

  • Don’t operate or warm up vehicles, motorcycles or generators in a closed garage or shed.  
  • Don’t use a charcoal or gas grill in a garage or an enclosed patio, and never use them to heat a room indoors.  
  • Have your gas appliances and furnace serviced annually; a thorough inspection will check combustion boxes for tiny cracks, clean any build-up from critical areas and ensure the gas supply and exhaust are functioning properly. 
  • Special care must be taken with gas space heaters, as many are installed unvented. It is especially important to make sure that an adequate supply of fresh air is available to ensure proper combustion. Proper combustion is normally indicated by the presence of a clear, blue flame. A small amount of yellow or orange is normal and is caused by flecks of dust in the air.
  • Install CO detectors that have been approved by a national testing laboratory on each floor of your home, and test them annually.
Making Energy Work for You Customer Support 1-800-222-3121