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How to Detect a Leak

Natural gas is a safe form of energy, regulated by rigorous controls and safety standards.

While natural gas is one of the safest fuels, small gas leaks can still occur. Knowing how to detect a leak can help reduce the risks to both people and property. The following two ways are how to determine if you may have a natural gas leak:

Smell it

In its pure state, natural gas has no smell or taste. As a safety precaution, a scent called methyl mercaptan is added to natural gas. This odour smells like rotten eggs or sulphur, so that natural gas leaks can be detected.

See it

Natural gas is clear and has no colour, but it can leave behind visible signs of a leak including bubbles in wet or flooded areas, patches of dead vegetation, blowing dust from holes in the ground, or even flames. In some cases, spotting vapours or ground frosting can suggest a high-pressure leak.

The video below explains what to do if you smell natural gas.

What is natural gas?

Natural gas is a safe and cost-effective primary fuel resource used for heating homes, business and appliances in Ontario. The use of natural gas releases less greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than other fossil fuels such as oil, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

What should you do if you detect a leak?

If you smell or see a natural gas leak:

  • Evacuate immediately
  • Call 911 from outside or a neighbour's home

If you suspect a leak you should:

  • Evacuate the building
  • Call 911 (from an outside phone)

For natural gas service inquiries or questions call Kitchener Utilities at 519-741-2529