How to recognize a natural gas leak ?
By its smell.
Natural gas is odourless. A very smelly substance is added so leaks can be detected.
This substance, called mercaptan, gives off a strong smell of rotten eggs.
What to do?
1. Avoid flames and sparks.
Do not smoke.
Do not turn on any appliance near the leak, not even a cell phone or a light switch – static electricity could produce a spark.
2. Leave the building immediately or move well away from the leak if you are already outdoors.
Without delaying your exit, on your way out, you could open doors and windows (or leave them open) to ensure maximum ventilation.
3. Call 9-1-1.
If this service is not available in your region, call 1 800 361-8003.
How to close the main shutoff valve ?
In some situations, the natural gas shutoff valve has to be closed; for example, if a fire breaks out, or if a broken pipe causes a sudden gas leak in a building.
Never expose yourself to danger when trying to close the shutoff valve. Only do so if you are certain you can do the job safely, for both you and those around you.
Never re-open a natural gas valve.
That’s a job for Gaz Métro. Precautions have to be taken when restoring the supply of natural gas to your appliances to make sure they are working properly and also to ensure your safety.
If you are feeling dizzy or nauseous, or you have a headache, especially near a natural gas appliance, leave the building immediately and call medical services at 9-1-1. An appliance that is not working properly can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Other emergency situations
Other unusual situations, such as a flood, ice storm or abundant snow, may call for special measures being taken. These are covered under Prevention Basics.