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. 

Gas Leaks

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. 

Carbon Monoxide

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.

Pipeline Awareness and Safety

Gas travels to our community through underground transmission pipelines. Markers are often found where these high capacity transmission pipelines meet a street or railroad track. The markers indicate the approximate location of the pipeline, not how deep the pipeline is buried.

The gas distribution mains inside the city are not typically identified by pipeline markers. 

Call Before You Dig

The most frequent cause of gas leaks is accidental damage from excavation by citizens or construction workers. To help prevent this type of damage, Iowa law requires everyone to contact Iowa One-Call at least 48 hours before digging on any property for any reason. 

You can contact Iowa One-Call toll-free at 811 or online at Iowa One-Call will arrange to have the location of all underground services marked before excavation takes place at no cost to the customer.