Man servicing furnace

Alliant Energy offers gas safety tips as temperatures drop

Smell gas? Move fast!

 MADISON, Wis. (Oct. 11, 2023) – With the arrival of cooler weather, Alliant Energy encourages its customers to be mindful of natural gas safety principles.

“Safety is our number one priority,” said Richard Sublett, director of operational compliance and work order management for Alliant Energy. “As the temperatures drop and customers begin to turn on their furnaces, there are some precautions they can take to keep their families and communities safe.”

Alliant Energy offers the following advice:

  1. 1. Know the signs of a gas leak and what to do.
  2. 2. Understand the risk of carbon monoxide and know how to detect it.
  3. 3. Prevent snow and ice from blocking gas vents.
  4. 4. Dig safely. 

The telltale signs of a gas leak include:

  • An odor like rotten eggs; natural gas has no scent, so utilities add this odorant.
  • A hiss, roar or whistle near a gas appliance, meter or pipeline.
  • Blowing dirt, bubbling water or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area.

Natural gas detectors help identify the threat and are especially important for those with a known loss of smell. Additionally, certain soil conditions can strip the rotten egg odorant out of natural gas; cooking aromas and other strong smells can mask the odorant; and prolonged exposure can make the odorant undetectable. If your natural gas detector goes off or you experience any of the signs listed above, move quickly to a safe location and call Alliant Energy at 1-800-255-4268.

Carbon monoxide can also be a danger when a furnace or gas appliance malfunctions. Carbon monoxide detectors help identify this threat. Carbon monoxide is a deadly, odorless gas that causes dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, confusion, nausea and fainting. If you come across signs of a gas leak or experience these symptoms, leave the premises immediately. From a safe location, call 911. 

“We urge customers to install natural gas and carbon monoxide detectors for greater security,” Sublett said. “Customers should also replace batteries regularly and get into a routine of practicing their emergency plans and ensuring all detectors work properly.”

Once winter arrives, snow and ice can damage gas meters and pipes. Use a broom to keep gas service equipment clear. You must clear vents for gas appliances following a major snow or ice storm to enable proper venting and prevent carbon monoxide accumulation. 

In addition to increased potential gas and carbon monoxide risks when the weather turns cooler, there’s also an increased risk of gas pipeline damage as homeowners rush to finish yardwork. Digging incidents are the most common cause of underground natural gas leaks.
If you plan to dig, including to construct a fire pit, call 811 at least three days ahead of time. This will initiate a free process for utilities to locate and mark underground lines so you can dig safely. 

Even minor damage to a gas pipeline such as nicks, scratches, cuts, scrapes, dents and gouges can result in pipeline failure or a major incident in the future if not properly assessed. Call Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT if your digging equipment or tools contact underground pipelines. 

Lastly, never place a fire pit above a buried line. If the fire gets too hot, it could cause the gas pipeline below to leak or melt. 
For more information about gas safety, please visit

Alliant Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: LNT) provides regulated energy service to 1 million electric and 425,000 natural gas customers across Iowa and Wisconsin. Alliant Energy's mission is to deliver energy solutions and exceptional service customers and communities count on – safely, efficiently and responsibly. Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL) are Alliant Energy's two public energy companies. Alliant Energy is a component of Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index and the S&P 500. For more information, visit and follow Alliant Energy on LinkedIn, FacebookInstagram and X.

Media Contact

Chris Caporale

(608) 458-3146

Contact Media Relations

24-hour access for reporters

For Iowa inquiries: (319) 786-4040
For Wisconsin inquiries: (608) 458-4040

Related Stories

View More News Releases