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Understand the Dangers of Natural Gas

It's easy to take the convenience of natural gas for granted, but doing so can be deadly.

Natural gas is completely safe when it's sealed inside pipes and used in the right way. The dangers occur when gas leaks out or doesn't combust properly in an appliance.

Natural gas is flammable - if there's a flame or even a spark in the area of a leak, it could cause an explosion. Fortunately, natural gas leaks are very rare.

And explosions are even more uncommon - the mixture of natural gas and oxygen in the air must be at a precise proportion for a spark to set it off.

When it's pumped from deep under the earth, natural gas is colorless, tasteless and odorless. Utility companies like Alliant Energy add a chemical that gives the gas a distinct aroma: rotten eggs. This makes even a tiny gas leak easier to detect.