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Natural Gas Appliance Safety

Natural gas appliances have open flames connected to powerful fuel supplies.

While properly installed and maintained appliances seldom present a danger, regular inspection and maintenance ensures your family’s safety and efficient operation.

What to do if you smell gas

Natural gas is odorless, but a small amount of scent is added to make it easily detectable. If you smell rotten eggs, hear gas hissing or know you have damaged a gas pipe:

  1. Stop what you’re doing.
  2. Get all family members out of the house.
  3. DO NOT use cell phones, light switches, matches, cigarettes or create any other source of ignition.
  4. As you leave the house, leave the door open.
  5. Get everyone far from the building until the emergency is contained.
  6. Call 911 or the natural gas emergency line for your area with a land line (not a cell phone):


  • Edmonton and area: 780-420-5585
  • Calgary and area: 403-245-7222
  • All other areas: 1-800-511-3447

Safety tips

  1. Always hire a licensed professional for installation, inspection and maintenance. Many dangers of improper installation and unsafe equipment are invisible without specialized equipment and training.
  2. Do not store combustible materials such as oil, gas, paper, cardboard, laundry near gas appliances.
  3. Remember that gas appliances have open flames. Never use combustible materials such as paints, solvents and glues near gas appliances.
  4. As with all open flames, natural gas appliances require a constant supply of oxygen. Ensure a qualified professional has confirmed a supply of “make-up” air so that a) the air your family breaths will not be oxygen-depleted and b) the open flame will not flare out of the appliance in search of scarce oxygen.
  5. Know where you gas supply shut-off valves are located. The gas is off when the handle is perpendicular to the gas pipe. The gas is on when the handle is in line with the gas pipe.
  6. As with all flames, natural gas appliances produce exhaust. Exhaust from natural gas (Carbon-Monoxide) is odorless, invisible and poisonous to humans. Carbon-monoxide is especially dangerous due to the way it first induces drowsiness. Install carbon-monoxide detectors near your appliances and sleeping quarters. Have a professional inspect your appliance and ventilation for leaks and cracks in the exhaust system.
  7. Be watchful for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning including:
    • Headache and dizziness
    • Fatigue and weakness
    • Watering and burning eyes
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Loss of muscle control
  8. Gas appliance service and installation is not a handyman project. Always use a licensed professional.
  9. Call before you dig, clear or tear down structures.