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From Ameren Illinois: 5 critical steps to stay safe if you suspect a natural gas leak

An Ameren Illinois gas journeyman uses a combustible gas indicator to test a natural gas water heater for any potential gas leaks. If you smell natural gas in your house, don’t ignore it. Leave your premises and call Ameren at 1-800-755-5000. Crews will respond at any hour of the day, seven days per-week. Additionally, there is zero customer charge for responding to a gas leak. (Photo courtesy Ameren Illinois)

Remember to review natural gas safety measures as the cold settles in

Ameren Illinois wants natural gas customers to remember a short and simple phrase as they switch on their furnaces, fire places – “Smell gas? Leave fast!”

Natural gas is a safe and efficient source of energy when used properly, but it is important to understand the hazards of a natural gas leak. If you suspect you smell natural gas, which also smells like rotten eggs, follow these five critical safety precautions:

  1. Immediately leave your home or business, taking all people and pets with you, and call Ameren Illinois at (800) 755-5000 from a safe distance.
  2. Do not turn lights on or off, operate thermostats, garage door openers, appliances or any device that could cause a spark. Even the smallest spark in the presence of natural gas can lead to a fire or explosion.
  3. Do not use a phone or light a match or use anything with a flame inside or near the building.
  4. Do not open windows or doors to ventilate the building.
  5. Do not re-enter the property for any reason until Ameren Illinois natural gas coworkers tells you that it is safe to enter.

“Many homeowners and renters are turning on their natural gas furnaces, gas fireplaces as the temperatures continue to drop,” said Eric Kozak, vice president of natural gas operations, Ameren Illinois. “It’s important to know what to do if you suspect your furnace or any natural appliance may not be operating properly or if you’re concerned that you may smell a natural gas leak. We respond to calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week and there is never a charge to our customers when it comes to investigating a leak.”

Carbon Monoxide Safety

In addition to natural gas leaks, Ameren Illinois wants customers to be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) risks and follow proper safety precautions. CO poisoning can occur when fossil fuels and other materials are burned without proper ventilation.

As a first line of defense, install CO detectors within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping and test them monthly. As an added precaution, have a qualified technician inspect your furnace and other natural gas appliances regularly to make sure they are in proper working condition. If anyone in your home is ill with flu-like symptoms and you suspect CO poisoning, immediately go outside and call 911. For more information call the Illinois Poison Center at (800) 222-1222.

For more natural gas safety tips, visit Ameren.com/Safety

 

About Ameren Illinois

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Its service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. Its mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow them on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.

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