- Is that smell natural gas?
- Where's that fuel line going?
- Using space heaters safely
- Keeping everyone safe
- Did you know - Natural Gas Connectors
- Be aware of corrugated stainless steel tubing
- Keep your meter clear
- Hot water shouldn't scald
- Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning
- Flammable liquids basics
Is that smell natural gas?
To make natural gas leaks easier to detect, Alliant Energy adds a harmless odorant to give it the distinctive rotten egg smell. Additional warning signs include: an unusual hissing, whistling, or roaring noise, dead grass or vegetation where the surrounding area is green, blowing dirt, and water bubbles in a puddle, river, pond, or creek. If you suspect a natural gas leak:
- Do not look for the leak or open windows.
- Immediately evacuate the building, leave the area and keep others away.
- Do not operate anything that could create a spark like electrical switches, lights, garage door openers, or telephones.
- Call Alliant Energy from a remote location. If you hear blowing gas, a more serious problem, call 911 immediately.
Although rare, natural gas leaks can be dangerous and result in an explosion. Alliant Energy does not charge to investigate a possible leak. 1-800-255-4268.
Where’s that fuel line going?
Some homes and businesses have privately buried fuel lines that run to an unattached garage, grill, or pool. Customers, not Alliant Energy, are responsible for natural gas lines after the meter. Customers must maintain, operate, and know the location of buried lines. A qualified technician should regularly inspect it for leaks. If the piping is metallic, inspect it for corrosion. Repair it if it is unsafe, or shut off the flow of gas. Locate the piping when planning to excavate nearby and dig by hand.
Using space heaters safely
Gas space heaters are a safe way to heat a space if used and maintained correctly. Always have your gas heater and venting system professionally installed and inspected according to local codes. Do not install a used space heater. Keep combustible materials or flammable liquids away from appliances or other sources of ignition.
Keeping everyone safe
Natural disasters can occur anytime and anywhere. You can protect yourself, your family and coworkers by being prepared for such disasters. Make sure you know what to do and what not to do now before a disaster happens to minimize risks and damage:
- Prepare and practice a disaster plan
- Have a professional inspect and repair any gas connections
- Know how to turn off gas service at the meter – if instructed to do so
After a disaster:
- Never turn gas service back on yourself, call Alliant Energy
- Check for gas leaks when returning. Evacuate and call Alliant Energy is a leak is suspected
- Replace any appliance that has been submerged in water
Did you know?
Natural gas connectors, like those used on ranges, water heaters, and clothes dryers must be inspected regularly and replaced as needed. Only a qualified professional should check for and replace your connector. Certain flexible connectors manufactured between 1970 and 1980 may fail over time and need to be replaced.
If you are no longer using the natural gas line, remove the gas connector and cap the line.
Be aware of corrugated stainless steel tubing
If your home or business was built after 1990 or you’ve had work done to the natural gas system it is likely that corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) was installed. The risk involved with improperly installed CSST is if lightning strikes a structure containing CSST the lightening will travel along the structure’s natural gas piping and could cause a leak or fire.
Have a professional inspect your building or home for CSST if you cannot do it yourself. If you find CSST, Alliant Energy recommends having a licensed electrician make sure it’s bonded and grounded properly.
Keep your meter clear
Snow and ice can damage or block natural gas meters and sidewall vents for appliances, especially following a major storm. Chimneys and side-vents must be clear to allow proper venting, which prevents accumulation of carbon monoxide, or equipment malfunction.
Carefully remove snow or debris using your hands or a broom. Kicking or using a shovel could cause damage. Safely remove icicles from overhead eves and gutters so dripping water does not splash and freeze on the meter or vent pipe. If you need help, contact a professional.
Hot water shouldn’t scald
Make sure your hot water heater is set to a safe temperature. Do not set the temperature above 120 degrees.
Always check the water temperature before placing a child in the bathtub and never leave a child alone or with other young children in the bathtub.
Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a silent killer. When a natural gas appliance malfunctions, it can produce CO. CO is a deadly, odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas. CO can also come from leaving a vehicle running in an attached garage.
The warning signs or symptoms of CO poisoning can occur immediately or gradually and include dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, confusion, nausea, and fainting. If you have these symptoms after being in an enclosed area, get fresh air immediately and seek medical attention. Be sure to tell your doctor that you may have carbon monoxide poisoning. And make sure to have a professional inspect your fuel-burning appliances.
In February 2011 the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, Safety and Buildings Division required CO detectors installed in all one- and two-family dwellings no matter the age of the home. Use a carbon monoxide alarm that meets current standards. Before the heating season have a professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances, and all heating and venting equipment.
Flammable liquids basics
Do not use gasoline and other flammable liquids indoors, near a gas appliance, or other ignition source. Tightly seal gas in an approved container, not plastic jugs or glass containers. Do not use gas for cleaning.
When pouring flammable liquids, allow room for vapor expansion and do not fill to the top. Store gasoline and other flammable liquids in secured cabinets and away from children. Explain to children the dangers of flammable liquid products.
For customer service, call 1-800-ALLIANT (1-800-255-4268).