Public Safety 

Outdoor Natural Gas Leaks 

Gas leaks outdoors pose some different challenges than those indoors.

  • Outdoor natural gas leaks can be caused by construction-related damage, cracks due to extreme weather, or pipe corrosion. Be on the lookout for evidence of construction activity and severe weather as indicators of a possible leak.
  • Contact NIPSCO immediately to shut off the gas. Do this whenever you suspect a leak. We will respond, turn off the gas, and repair the damaged pipeline.
  • Evacuate the area.
  • Be alert for migrating gas. Gas can accumulate in storm drains, construction trenches, buildings, and other utility lines, particularly as it moves laterally and seeks a path upward. As gas migrates, localized concentrations will change. Remember that natural gas can burn or ignite as concentrations move through the flammable range.
  • Outdoor natural gas leaks. When on the scene of an outdoor emergency, always be alert for the telltale indicators of a natural gas leak. Depending on the pressure of the gas line, these indicators will vary.
  • In addition to the familiar sulfur-like smell, other indicators of an outdoor leak include:
    • A hissing or roaring sound. The sound could range anywhere from a low hissing sound to a loud roaring sound.
    • Dirt blowing or spraying into the air. Depending on the pressure, the force of the moving dirt will vary.
    • Continual bubbling in water.
    • Grass or plants dead or dying for no apparent reason. Remember that not all natural gas is odorized, and conditions such as weather can make even odorized gas difficult to smell.
    • Do not rely on smell alone to detect natural gas leaks.