Natural Gas Safety

Following the deadly gas explosion in Baltimore Monday, the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office advises residents of the following recommendations regarding natural gas safety:

• Locate the main gas shutoff valve for your home at the base of your gas meter. Place a wrench at the gas meter and learn how to safely shut off the gas supply quickly in an emergency.
• Locate the gas shutoff valves for individual appliances including cooktop, furnace, water heater, dryer and fireplace. Make sure they are operable and can be closed if necessary.
• Recognize the smell of mercaptan. Mercaptan is an odorous gas added to the natural gas supply that gives natural gas the recognizable smell of rotten eggs. If you notice the rotten egg smell in your home, evacuate immediately and call 911.

For further information, check with your local natural gas utility service or contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-596-3929.

Cascade Natural Gas Corporation, which provides natural gas to the Shelton area, emailed the following to MasonWebTV Powered by HCC:

“In regard to our natural gas system, Cascade Natural Gas is committed to the safety of our customers, our employees and the communities we serve.”

Cascade Natural Gas has a 24-hour emergency contact number (888-522-1130) and has the following tips on its website:

If you smell the distinctive rotten egg odor of natural gas, hear a hissing sound near a gas meter or pipeline or if you see a broken line follow the steps below:

If you smell gas inside:

  • Evacuate everyone immediately, including pets.
  • Leave the door open behind you as you evacuate the premises.
  • From a safe location, outside of the building and away from the gas leak, call the Cascade Natural Gas, emergency contact number: 888-522-1130.
  • If the leaking gas ignites, don’t attempt to extinguish the flames.
  • Call the fire department at 911.
  • Keep other people and animals away from the area.

DO NOT do any of the following:

  • Do not use a telephone or cell phone inside the building.
  • Do not open or close any windows.
  • Do not flip light switches; pull plugs or operate electrical devices. This includes garage door openers, door bells and any type of vehicle, machinery or equipment. Any sparking could ignite the gas.
  • Do not smoke, including e-cigarettes and vaping units, or light matches.
  • Do not re-enter the building until you are told it is safe to do so.

If you smell gas outside:

  • Evacuate the area immediately.
  • Do not use electronic devices or cell phones near the area of the leak.
  • From a safe location, away from the gas leak, call the Cascade Natural Gas, emergency contact number: 888-522-1130.
  • Do not smoke, including e-cigarettes and vaping units, or light matches near the area of the leak.
  • If the leaking gas ignites, don’t try to extinguish the flames.
  • Call the fire department at 911.
  • Keep other people and animals away from the area.

If digging and natural gas pipeline damage is suspected:

  • If motorized equipment can be turned off safely, do so to prevent the ignition of accumulated gas.
  • Abandon the equipment and leave the area on foot.
  • Do not attempt to restart the equipment until you are told it is safe to do so.
  • Do not use any electronic devices including cell phones near the area of the leak.
  • From a safe location, away from the gas leak, call the Cascade Natural Gas emergency contact number 888-522-1130.
  • Do not smoke or light matches near the area of the leak.
  • If the gas ignites, do not attempt to extinguish the flames.
  • Call the fire department at 911.
  • Keep other people and animals away from the area.