Reporting a Gas Leak
Gas Leaks and Emergencies
Knowing what a natural gas emergency is and how to react will help keep you and your family safe. Examples of natural gas emergencies are natural gas leaks and damaged underground pipelines or service lines. Leaks can occur on indoor lines or outdoor lines when damaged. If you think you have a natural gas emergency, go to a safe location. Then, call SEMCO ENERGY Gas Company, at 1-888-427-1427. DO NOT E-MAIL to report the emergency.
The Three "R's" of Natural Gas Safety
Knowing how to Recognize, React, and Report natural gas emergencies can eliminate or minimize their consequences.
Signs of a natural gas leak include:
- A sulfur or "rotten egg" odor
- A blowing or hissing sound
- Dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area
- Flames, if a leak has ignited
- Dirt or dust blowing from a hole in the ground
- Bubbling in wet or flooded areas
If you suspect a natural gas leak, follow these steps:
- Leave the area immediately and call SEMCO at 1-888-427-1427; then, follow the instructions provided
- Do not use any electrical device, such as light switches, telephones, appliances, or such as garage door openers. They could spark and ignite the gas
- Do not use an open flame, such as matches or lighters
- Do not try to locate the source of the gas leak
- Do not try to shut off any gas valves or appliances
- Do not start any vehicles
- Do not re-enter the building or return to the area until a SEMCO employee says it's safe to do so
- Do not put out the flame, if the natural gas ignites; let it burn. Burning gas will not explode
- Do not restart the equipment if you are digging and think you may have damaged a natural gas pipeline, leave the area immediately. If you are using motorized equipment and can turn off the motor safely, do so to prevent the ignition of any leaking gas. Then, abandon the equipment and leave the area
It is important that you call SEMCO about any natural gas emergency immediately.
- If you think you have a natural gas emergency, go to a safe location, and call 1-888-427-1427.
- If you see unusual activity near a natural gas pipeline or facility, call 1-800-624-2019.
Calls can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week. SEMCO will respond promptly and at no charge.
Gas Leak Prevention
Raise the Flags and Dig Safely. Call MISS DIG 811 at least three full business days before beginning an excavation project – even for simply planting a tree or digging a hole for a mailbox post. The call and service are free. Utilities in your area will locate the general vicinity of underground pipes and cables with color-coded flags or paint at no charge. Those excavating in the area should then dig carefully to avoid damage to underground utilities. A new national three-digit number, 811, was introduced in 2007 to connect people directly to their state’s one-call system. To learn more, please visit, www.call811.com.
Replace flexible connectors. Cracks can form and cause serious gas leaks in these flexible pipes that attach appliances to fuel lines. Limit the number of times you move natural gas appliances, and replace flexible connectors at least every 10 years with an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved model.
Do not hang anything from internal gas lines. Heavy coats or other items hanging from a natural gas service line (often located near the ceiling in basements) can stress the joints in the pipe and cause gas leaks. Do not allow children to swing on the pipes, either.