How to Stay Safe Around Natural Gas
Natural gas is an important energy source for our community. It travels to Cedar Falls in underground transmission pipelines and reaches customers through the Cedar Falls distribution system.
Since the natural gas system is underground, outages are rare. In addition, most natural gas appliances work even when the electricity is out, making natural gas a reliable energy choice.
Natural Gas Hazards
While natural gas is typically a safe and efficient fuel choice, it is important to recognize that the unintentional release of gas is dangerous.
When natural gas leaks, it displaces oxygen. Breathing natural gas may cause dizziness, headache or asphyxiation. Escaping gas may be ignited by nearby heat, sparks or flames.
There are a few ways to identify a gas leak. While natural gas is colorless and odorless in its natural state, CFU adds a distinctive “rotten egg” odor to help alert you to potential gas leaks.
If you are outside, you may also hear a hissing sound or see blowing soil, bubbling water or dead plants near a gas appliance, meter or buried distribution main.
If you are inside and suspect a gas leak, leave the home immediately without turning any lights on or off. If you are outside and detect a gas leak, move away from the area and stay upwind of the leak.
If you suspect a leak anywhere, call CFU’s emergency gas line at 319-268-5340 when you are safely out of the area. You can also call 911. Our crews will respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If natural gas appliances are not working or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can result. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it is dangerous. Carbon monoxide detectors are available to help alert you. Never ignore an alarm! If it sounds, move to fresh air and call 911 and CFU.
Gas Appliance Inspections
The best thing you can do to protect your family is to have your appliances inspected every year by an expert.
CFU will provide a free annual inspection for your gas furnace. For more information, please call CFU gas services at 319-268-5340.
Call Before You Dig
Don’t forget! If you plan to do any digging around your property, call 811 to have your underground utility services located.
Each affected utility company will send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground utility lines.
Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 before each job.