Proudly serving our community for 82 years.

Natural Gas Safety Tips

How to recognize a gas leak
Common signs of a gas leak include:

  • A gas odor (which can best be described as the smell of rotten eggs);
  • A blowing or hissing sound; water bubbling or being blown into the air at a pond, creek, or river;
  • Dirt being blown or thrown into the air;
  • Fire coming from the ground or burning above the ground;
  • Unusual brown or dead patches of vegetation on or near a pipeline location;
  • A dry spot in a moist field.

If you smell or hear gas inside or around your home

If you smell gas and the odor is very weak, most likely a pilot light is out and should be relit. Use the manufacturer's instruction manual to re-light the pilot.

If the odor is strong or if you hear a hissing or blowing sound, leave your house immediately and on the way out -

  • Do not light a match or a cigarette lighter.
  • Do not attempt to light any appliance.
  • Do not use your phone.
  • Do not turn on or off any electrical switches.
  • Do not use a flashlight.
  • Do leave the house door open.
  • Do warn others to stay away from what you believe to be the source of gas.
  • Do call the gas company and fire department from a neighbor's house. Be ready to give the gas company and the fire department the information they need such as:
    • Your name and address,
    • The address and phone number from where you are calling,
    • The severity and nature of the leak,
    • Whether the odor or hissing sound is inside or outside the house.

Agree on a location to meet with the fire department and gas company representative(s) and wait there until they arrive. Remember, if you smell a strong odor of gas or hear gas escaping inside or outside your home, do not attempt to locate the problem. Instead, leave your home immediately and call the gas company and the fire department. Let them handle it.

Carbon monoxide - a toxic gas

Incomplete combustion of any fuel, including natural gas, produces carbon monoxide, a toxin. It is very important to recognize the flu-like symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Blurred Vision

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning take these steps:

  • Get yourself or the victim out of the house and into fresh air
  • Get medical attention right away
  • Give CPR if the victim is not breathing
  • Call the fire department and your gas company
  • They will help you find the problem
Excess Flow Valves

An excess flow valve (EFV) may reduce the consequences of a gas leak in the event of a break in the outside service line. The valve is designed to shut down the gas service to your home and reduce the likelihood of unrestricted gas flow from the broken line.

Since February 1999, in response to government regulation, Southwestern Virginia Gas Company has been installing EFVs at no additional charge to customers on all new and replaced residential natural gas service lines, which we will continue to do.

Southwestern Virginia Gas Company will also install an EFV on an existing residential and qualifying commercial natural gas service line for a cost to the customer of approximately $1,000 - $2,000, depending on the time and labor necessary for the installation.

For more information about EFVs, or if you want an EFV installed on your existing service line, please contact us at 276-632-5662.

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