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Florida Public Utilities
Natural Gas Safety

SAFETY BASICS

How to Sense Danger

Natural gas is under pressure when running through pipelines. Because natural gas is lighter than air, it rises when it escapes. Plus, while natural gas is naturally odorless, a ‘rotten egg’ odor is added so you and your family can easily detect even the smallest leak. Teach everyone in your home or business to recognize this ‘rotten egg’ smell and take the following steps should someone suspect a leak:

1. Clear your home or business immediately.

2. Once safely outside, call 800.427.7712 to report a leak. (Or dial 911 once safely outside if you sense a more serious emergency)

DO NOT:

  • Use a cell phone or telephone until securely outside the location
  • Smoke, light a match or do anything else that may cause a spark, which could result in an explosion or fire
  • Turn on or off any electric switches
  • Ring the doorbell or open any garage doors

Visual and audible signs may also indicate that a natural gas leak has occurred. If you notice any of the following, please take the steps outlined above.

  • Blowing dirt, bubbling creeks/ponds or dead vegetation in an otherwise green area. Natural gas is lighter than air whereas propane is heavier and settles
  • Hissing sounds near a natural gas appliance or pipeline 

Important Notice About Your Fuel Lines

FPU maintains the buried gas piping from the main to the meter but does not maintain the customer’s buried gas piping after the meter. Buried piping that you do not properly maintain may be subject to the potential hazards of corrosion and leakage. Buried gas piping should be:

  • Periodically inspected for leaks
  • Periodically inspected for corrosion if the piping is metallic
  • Repaired if any unsafe condition is discovered

Also, when excavating near buried gas piping, the piping needs to be located in advance, and the excavation should be done by hand. Call 811 before you dig and we will be there within a few business days to locate your lines at no charge to you.

Energy Theft

Energy theft is the tampering of natural gas or propane meters with the intent to avoid paying for energy. It is a dangerous and illegal act that can result in:

  • Fire and numerous other threats to public safety
  • Severe bodily injury, including burns
  • Severe legal ramifications, including large fines and possible imprisonment

If you suspect someone is tampering with a natural gas or propane meter, please contact FPU immediately. Your call can be confidential.

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