SoCalGas - How to Recognize and Respond to a Natural Gas Leak
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How to Recognize and Respond to a Natural Gas Leak

Spotting a dry patch of grass in your yard is one of many signs of a potential gas leak. That's why you should rely on all of your senses and:


  • A damaged connection to a gas appliance
  • Dirt or water being blown into the air
  • Dead or dying vegetation (in an otherwise moist area) over or near pipeline areas
  • A fire or explosion near a pipeline
  • Exposed pipeline after an earthquake, fire, flood or other disaster


An unusual sound, such as a hissing, whistling or roaring sound near a gas line or appliance.


The distinctive odor of natural gas. Some people may not be able to smell the odor because they have a diminished sense of smell, olfactory fatigue (normal, temporary inability to distinguish an odor after prolonged exposure to it) or because the odor is being masked or hidden by other odors that are present, such as cooking, damp, musty or chemical odors. In addition, certain conditions in pipe and soil can cause odor fade - the loss of odorant so that it is not detectable by smell.

Further information is available in our section entitled Don't Rely on Just Your Nose.

Updated 6/2014

What to do if you suspect a gas leak

If you smell a natural gas odor, hear the hissing sound of gas escaping or see other signs of a leak:

REMAIN calm.

DON'T light a match, candle or cigarette.

DON'T turn electrical appliances or lights on or off or use any device that could cause a spark.

IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE the area, and from a safe location, call SoCalGas at


24 hours a day, seven days a week; or call 911.

Click to watch an informational video about detecting a natural gas leak.

Use Your Senses

Use your senses of sight, hearing or smell to be alerted to the presence of a gas leak.

» Watch video 

Report Any Pipe Damage

Evacuate the area and from a safe location, call SoCalGas at


to report any pipeline damage. No damage is too small to report.