(March 7, 2016 - Newark, NJ) – More than 80 percent of New Jersey households use natural gas as the main source of heat -- among the highest rates of natural gas use for residential heating in the nation. Natural gas is not dangerous when it's sealed up tight inside pipes and used in the right way. However, if you smell gas, hear hissing, or suspect a leak, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, reminds customers to act fast.
When you suspect a gas leak you should:
• Open windows and doors to ventilate the building
• Leave your home as quickly as possible and move well away from the building. Take all others with you. If the odor is noticed outside, get well away from where you suspect the gas is leaking.
• Call PSE&G immediately at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734), or call 911
If you suspect a gas leak do NOT:
• Operate light switches, vape or smoke
• Attempt to determine the source of the odor
• Light a match or leave candles burning
• Turn appliances and flashlights on or off
• Start a car
• Use a telephone or cell phone
• Ring a doorbell
“Natural gas is a clean-burning and safe source of energy, but it can be dangerous when there is a faulty appliance or improper use,” said Joe Forline, vice president of gas operations for PSE&G. “Safety is our number one priority, and we respond rapidly to gas leaks and emergencies 24/7. It is important for customers to know to act quickly if they smell or hear gas leaking.”
The best way to stay safe is to prevent gas line damages. According to a recent study, about 40 percent of natural gas line damages involve lines cut because of errors by contractors, construction workers or residents. Most of these incidents are avoidable.
Contractors, excavators and customers should always call 811 to request a mark-out before digging to avoid hitting underground pipelines, conduits, wires and cables. This service is free, and critical to avoid injuries and disruptions to vital utility services. Every digging project, even a small project like planting a tree or building a deck, requires a call to 811.
More information about gas safety is available at www.pseg.com/safetytips.