Reporting a Natural Gas Leak

Andrew J. Lanza

July 02, 2014

The City of New York has begun a public awareness campaign to urge residents to call 911 -and not just their utility - if they smell gas. Previously, residents who smelled gas were often told to call their gas utility or dial 311, the city's information hotline.  Now, any calls to 311 reporting gas will be transferred to the 911 emergency line, automatically triggering a fire department response. 


If you suspect a natural gas leak:

Leave the area immediately and go to a safe location

Do not try to locate the source of the leak  

Do not do anything that could cause a spark and ignite the gas: 

Do not use electrical devices, such as light switches, telephones, or garage door openers

Do not use an open flame, matches or lighters 

Do not start vehicles parked in the area

Do not try to shut off any natural gas valves

From a safe location, call 911 to report a gas leak.  Do not call your gas provider.

Do not re-enter the building or return to the area until fire department or law enforcement personnel deem the area safe for re-entry 

Signs of Natural Gas Leak

"Rotten egg" smell

Dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area

Dirt or dust blowing from a hole in the ground

Bubbling in wet or flooded areas

Blowing or hissing sound

Flames, if a leak has ignited

Gas in transmission pipelines does not have odorant added, so signs of a pipeline leak may include all of the above except the rotten egg odor