How to Report Gas Leaks

Natural gas is colorless and odorless in its original state.

Gas utility companies add a chemical that produces a rotten-egg smell, making it possible to detect a gas leak. Leaking gas can lead to disastrous situations, ranging from toxic poisoning to major explosions. If you detect a gas leak inside your home or on your property, act promptly to protect yourself and your family as well as your neighbors.

Leave the home immediately if you smell a strong gas odor or hear hissing sounds. Do not close windows or doors before leaving.

Avoid any activity close to the home that can generate a spark. Don't light matches. Don't start a car ignition. Don't use your cell phone.

Call your gas utility company from your cell phone, after moving away from the home, or from a neighbor's land line. State laws require also calling 911 to report a gas leak. Notify your neighbors either by phone or face to face.

Call 811. State laws also mandate reporting gas leaks to 811, a number created by the Federal Communications Commission that deals with underground utilities and excavations.


  • Investigate faint and mild odors before reporting a gas leak. Confirm that the burner controls on your gas stove are in the off position. Check the pilot light on your stove and relight if it has gone out; do the same with your gas heater.
  • Keep the number for your gas utility on your cell phone.

About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.