Natural Gas Safety

By: Frank H. Bailey, Founder/Senior Partner

 

Mercaptan could save your life

What is mercaptan?  Mercaptan is an odorant that smells like rotten eggs and is added to natural gas at the gas processing plant.  Our government requires that mercaptan be added to natural gas because the gas is flammable.  A flame or a spark could cause a fire or explosion if a leak goes undetected.  The foul smell of mercaptan provides an alert to a gas leak. 

If not contained, because natural gas is lighter than air, it will rise and spread out across available spaces.  An undetected leak in your home could allow natural gas to rise and fill rooms causing imminent danger.  If you smell rotten eggs, get out of the house as fast as you can!  Don’t touch anything!  Don’t use light switches, open windows or use your phone; cell phone or landline.  As you leave, don’t close the door as you safely move away from the house.  Call your gas utility’s natural gas leak hotline or 911. 

A gas leak outside could be as dangerous as a leak inside your home.  Because natural gas is so light, it seeks the path of least resistance into the atmosphere.  If there’s a leak in the gas line running from the street to the house, that path might be through a crack in your home’s foundation.  The possibility of gas getting into your foundation increases in winter when the ground is frozen, and the gas can’t rise out of the ground.  If you smell rotten eggs outside, immediately move away from the area.  Don’t touch anything or use your cell phone! Quickly move away until you no longer smell the foul odor.  Once you’re at a safe distance, report the possible leak and alert your neighbors.  Don’t assume someone else has called the gas utility or 911. 

While accidents caused by gas leaks in homes are relatively rare, when they do occur they can be devastating.  If you or a loved one has been injured by a gas leak call us, (479) 202-5200.  The attorneys at Bailey & Oliver Law Firm can help.  We have experience in gas explosions. 

Our office is located just West of Exit 81 off I-49 at 3606 W. Southern Hills Blvd., Rogers, Arkansas.  We serve Rogers, Bentonville, Springdale, Lowell, Bella Vista, Centerton, Decatur, Highfill, Cave Springs, Gravette, Pea Ridge, Fayetteville, Huntsville, Berryville, Eureka Springs, all of Arkansas and surrounding states.

 

Arial view of a gas explosion at a home in Jeffersonville, IN.  May 2019  (Photos Courier-Journal)