Smell gas? Move fast.
- Smell the odor of rotten eggs. If you don’t know the scent, contact us for a free scratch-and-sniff card.
- Hear hissing, roaring or whistling sounds near a gas appliance, meter or pipeline.
- See blowing dirt, bubbling water or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area.
Suspect a gas leak?
- Make sure gas appliances are turned all the way off.
- Turn off and abandon machinery.
- Leave the area and keep others away.
- Call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268) from a remote location – do not return until we confirm it is safe.
- If you hear blowing gas, which is a more serious issue, evacuate to a remote location and call 911.
- Don’t try to find, repair or extinguish a burning leak.
- Don’t move appliances or machinery.
- Don’t strike matches or create a flame/spark of any kind.
- Don’t use a telephone or cellphone until you are out of the area. (These can ignite gases or vapors.)
- Don’t turn on or off any light or electrical switches or use garage door openers. (These may also ignite airborne gases.)
Raw natural gas has no smell. We add the stinky, rotten-egg odor to make leaks easier to detect.
In some situations, though, your sense of smell might not be enough to detect a leak:
- Strong smells in the area, like cooking or chemical odors, can mask the smell of natural gas.
- Prolonged exposure to the same smell can desensitize you to it (called olfactory fatigue).
- Certain conditions in the soil or pipes can cause the natural gas order to fade.
Individuals with a known inability to smell are especially at risk. If this is you, don’t take chances: get a natural gas detector. Look for the Underwriters Laboratories Standard 1484 (UL) stamp on the box or in the product description and carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions for operation, placement, and maintenance.
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. To reduce the risk of CO poisoning, hire a qualified contractor annually to inspect your fuel-burning appliances and venting systems for proper ventilation. In addition, purchase a CO detection device. Look for the Underwriters Laboratories Standard 2034 (UL) stamp on the box and carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions for operation, placement, and maintenance.
If you are planning to do work on your property that will affect the location or accessibility of a gas meter or service line, please call us to evaluate your plans.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268) if your equipment or tools contact our underground pipelines or electrical lines. Even minor damage, such as nicks, scratches, cuts, scrapes, dents and gouges can result in pipeline failure, electric shock or a major incident in the future if not properly assessed. If you hear blowing gas, which is a more serious problem, call 911 immediately from a safe location.
Inspect your gas appliances
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 and replace your connector. Certain flexible connectors manufactured between 1970 and 1980 may fail over time and need to be replaced.
Take ownership of privately buried piping
Some homes and businesses have privately buried natural gas or fuel lines that run to an unattended garage, grill or pool. These lines are not installed or maintained by Alliant Energy, and customers are responsible for them. We are responsible for the gas lines leading up to your meter, but any additional lines are your responsibility.
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 if unsafe or shut off the flow of gas. Prior to excavating, have the piping located and marked. Excavating performed near the pipe should be done by hand.
Know what kind of gas piping you have in your home or building
If your home or business was built after 1990, or you’ve had work done to your natural gas system, corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) may have been installed. If lightning strikes a structure containing CSST, there is a risk it can travel along the structure’s natural gas piping system and could cause a leak or, in some cases, a fire.
Have a professional inspect your building or home for CSST if you can’t do it yourself. If you find CSST, Alliant Energy recommends having a licensed electrician make sure it’s bonded and grounded properly.
In most cases, the natural gas distribution pipelines do not have pipeline markers inside urban service
territories. To identify where any type of pipeline is located, call 811.
Visit the National Pipeline Mapping System at npms.phmsa.dot.gov to learn who operates transmission pipelines in your area.
When pouring flammable liquids, allow for vapor expansion and do not fill to the top. Store gasoline and other flammable liquids in secured cabinets away from children. Explain to children the dangers of flammable liquid products.
It might not be a simple clog. Sewer lines can be damaged when new power lines or natural gas pipes are installed underground. Sometimes the two lines can intersect. This is called a cross bore. The problem can go undetected for years. You could be injured trying to clear a clog from a cross bore. If a cross bore is discovered:
- Do not operate any equipment.
- Evacuate yourself and others.
- Call 911 and the natural gas company from a remote location.
- Eliminate any ignition sources.
We provide training and education on natural gas to keep our employees, customers and communities safe. Stringent safety standards govern the exploration, production, transportation, distribution and use of natural gas. We continuously seek out new technologies in pipeline design, construction, inspections and operations to make delivery of natural gas safe, cost-effective and secure.
Emergency responders and public officials are our partners in prevention. We share information and participate in meetings with other pipeline companies. We also work with emergency responders to help them understand the risks of natural gas and the best ways to prepare for, prevent and react to an emergency.
There are more than two million miles of pipelines in the U.S. Pipelines are a safe and reliable way to transport natural gas. Accidents are relatively rare.
When the gas gets to your community, the local distribution company, such as Alliant Energy, adds an odorant to help detect leaks.
Inside your community, the gas travels through pipelines called mains. Mains are often buried under or along streets. From there, a smaller service line brings the gas to your meter. Service lines are buried in yards.
After the gas passes through a meter, it belongs to you, the customer.
Customers are responsible for installing and maintaining the piping that natural gas flows through to reach appliances and equipment.
To learn more about our integrity management program or other natural gas pipeline safety topics, call 1-800-257-3645 or visit alliantenergy.com/pipelinesafety.
Disasters can occur anytime and anywhere. You can minimize risks to people and damage to property by knowing what to do before a disaster:
- 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:
- Call Alliant Energy to have your gas service turned back on. Never do it yourself.
- Check for gas leaks when returning. Evacuate and call Alliant Energy from a remote location if a leak is suspected.
- Replace any appliance that has been submerged in water.
Winter storm safety
Vents for gas appliances must be cleared following a major snow or ice storm to enable proper venting and prevent carbon monoxide accumulation.
After a storm, grab a broom and clean off your meter and the vents for any gas appliances.
Don’t kick at the snow or use a shovel, or you might damage the equipment.
Have a qualified professional check your gas appliances annually. These inspections keep gas appliances safe and efficient, and reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
An excess flow valve (EFV) is a safety device designed to automatically stop the flow of natural gas in a service line, should the gas service line break or be severed. Assuming your gas load and gas system operating conditions meet certain requirements, Alliant Energy can install an EFV in your existing gas service line.
Select your state to learn more about the requirements and costs: