News Releases

Don’t Gamble with Gas Leaks

Jan 19, 2011

If you think you smell natural gas, don’t ignore it. Evacuate the area and call NV Energy’s 24-hour emergency telephone number, (775) 834-4100, or call 911, and be sure to use a telephone that’s well away from the vicinity of the leak. No fee is charged for a leak inspection and/or repairs.

Because natural gas is odorless and colorless, NV Energy, the same as other gas companies, adds an odorant called mercaptan that has a distinctive sulfur or rotten egg smell. If there’s a leak, you may also hear an unusual hissing sound.

“Customers are sometimes hesitant to call because they’re not sure if a strange odor at their home or workplace is caused by natural gas or something else,” explained Carolyn Barbash, gas distribution executive for NV Energy. “Because it’s always better to be safe than sorry, we urge customers to call us anytime they smell an unusual odor that might be caused by natural gas.”

NV energy asks gas customers to take the following precautions if they have a gas leak:

·         Do not use any kind of electronic device at the site of the potential leak, even if it is battery operated.

·         Do not light matches, candles or cigarettes.

·         Do not turn on or turn off any electrical switch or appliance.

·         Do not start a vehicle in a garage or near a natural gas leak; nor should you operate a garage door opener.

·         Call NV Energy’s emergency number, (775) 834-4100 to report the leak.

Besides responding to possible leaks identified by customers, NV Energy employees equipped with leak detection equipment conduct regular inspections for gas leaks throughout the company’s natural gas and propane service area, Barbash explained. The equipment is sensitive enough to detect trace amounts of gas rising up through cracks in the pavement on city streets.

Commercial districts and schools are inspected for gas leaks annually and residential areas are inspected every five years.

NV Energy serves approximately 150,000 natural gas customers in the Truckee Meadows and a small number of liquid propane gas customers east of Sparks at Rainbow Bend.

For more tips on natural gas safety, visit NV Energy’s web site

For further information: Karl Walquist, (775) 834-3891