Gas Safety
Natural gas is safe when it's used properly, but accidents can happen. That's why at SCE&G, we want you and everyone in your family to know all you can about natural gas safety, from how to detect a gas leak, to what and what not to do in an emergency.

Natural Gas Leaks 

Natural Gas Appliance & Heating Safety

Flexible Gas Connectors

Carbon Monoxide

For more information about using natural gas safely, visit the EnergeticMinds kids zone, an educational section of that’s full of safety tips and more.

Natural Gas Leaks
Natural gas is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic yet flammable substance. An odor is added to help you detect a potential gas leak. Signs of a possible natural gas leak are:

  • A rotten egg odor.
  • The vegetation over or near the pipeline is discolored or appears dead.
  • A hissing, whistling or roaring sound near a gas appliance or the pipeline.
  • Dirt or debris being blown into the air.
  • Persistent bubbles in streams, ponds or wet areas.
  • Flames if a leak has ignited.  

What to do if a leak occurs:

  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Warn others to stay away.
  • From a safe place, call 911 and SCE&G at 1-800-815-0083 (toll-free).

Remember these additional safety tips when you smell gas:

  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off.
  • Do not turn on or off any electric switch; this could cause a spark and ignite the gas.
  • Do not use your telephone, cell phone, garage door opener or even a flashlight.
  • Do not smoke, use a lighter or strike a match.
  • Do not start or stop nearby vehicles or other machinery.

Read SCE&G's Can You Smell a Natural Gas Leak brochure (PDF, 614KB)

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Natural Gas Appliance & Heating Safety

  • Always set your gas water heater to the manufacturer’s specifications, usually 110 to 120 degrees, to help prevent accidental burns.
  • When using gas logs, always keep your chimney damper open and make sure your chimney is drafting properly.
  • If you have natural gas fireplace logs with a key-operated gas valve, remove the key from the valve when not in use and put it in a safe place. Valve keys are vulnerable to being accidentally kicked on or turned on by children.
  • Check gas dryer ducts periodically and remove lint or other obstructions.
  • Have a qualified technician check your heating system annually. Technicians check things such as proper combustion, carbon monoxide, flue gas temperature, burners, and the heat exchanger to ensure proper operation. Additionally, be sure to change filters regularly, according to manufacturer recommendations. 
  • Never store rags, mops, paper and other combustible near any gas appliance.

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Flexible Gas Connectors
When was the last time you thought about the connector that joins your natural gas appliance to the natural gas line?

Flexible Gas Connectors are corrugated metal tubes used to attach gas appliances to the natural gas pipes in a home or building. Older flexible connectors made of uncoated brass can weaken or crack over time, which could lead to a dangerous gas leak. Any uncoated brass gas appliance connector should be replaced immediately with a new stainless steel connector.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, these uncoated flexible gas connectors have not been made for more than 25 years, but many are still in use in older appliances.

Follow these Guidelines to keep your family and home safe from a gas leak:

  • Avoid moving natural gas appliances – stressing connectors can cause them to crack or fail.
  • Do not move your natural gas appliances to check the connectors yourself.
  • Only a qualified professional plumber, HVAC technician or appliance repair contractor, should check your connector and replace it.
  • Connectors should be certified by the American Gas Association and be manufactured in accordance with the American National Standards Institute.

Learn more about using natural gas safely.

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Carbon Monoxide

Home appliances make our lives easier, but they must be properly installed and maintained to keep you and everyone in your household safe. Gas appliances that are not getting a sufficient supply of air can release carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas.

Periodically check your gas appliances to see that they’re in good working order. You can do this by making sure pilot lights and burner flames are a clear blue, although small flecks of orange are normal.

Other sources of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
  • Running an automobile in a closed garage attached to the home
  • Using a charcoal barbecue for cooking or heating inside
  • Heating your home with an unvented kerosene heater

Signs indicating that your natural gas appliance may be emitting carbon monoxide include:

  • A yellow, large and unsteady burner flame (with the exception of decorative gas logs)
  • Flickering flames
  • Soot
  • An unusual pungent odor when the appliance is operating

Installing a carbon monoxide detector can help detect the presence of carbon monoxide in your homel Follow the manufacturer’s directions, and keep in mind that even with these detectors in place, regular gas appliance maintenance is required.

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