Natural Gas Safety and Public Awareness



If a natural gas leak occurs, your senses of sight, hearing and smell will help you identify the possible leak and its location. Although natural gas incidents and/or leaks are uncommon, there are some things you need to know to protect yourself and your property.

  • LOOK

Blowing dirt, bubbling creeks or ponds, dry spots in moist areas or dead plants surrounded by live, green plants may indicate a natural gas leak.


Near a gas appliance or line, there may be a hissing sound when natural gas is leaking.


Stay alert for the distinct, rotten egg-like smell of natural gas.  You should take action any time you detect even a small amount of this odor in the air.



If you ever detect a natural gas leak, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.  Do not try to find or stop the leak.


Do not touch anything electrical. Do not use the telephone, even a cell phone. Do not smoke, do not turn appliances or lights on or off, and do not operate any vehicle or equipment that could create a spark.


Once you are away, immediately call your local natural gas utility or pipeline company. Remember that the response to emergencies such as this is free. The City of Monroe Natural Gas Department can be contacted at (704) 282-4600. If the smell of natural gas is strong, call 911.


The leading cause of pipeline leaks is damage from construction equipment such as earth-moving equipment and power tools operated by untrained and uninformed personnel. Before starting any excavation activities, call North Carolina 811 at (8-1-1) so that all utilities companies around the area can locate their underground facilities for you. Underground facilities that have been located will be marked with flags and paint.  This will make their location visible to the excavator and will reduce the risk of damaging them.

During your excavation activities around our gas pipelines, we request that if you or your crew hit, scrape, dent, gouge, crease or bend the pipeline in anyway, please call the City of Monroe Natural Gas Department at (704) 282-4600. We will repair and/or check the natural gas pipeline to be sure that the pipeline is fully functional and safe.


Pipeline markers are placed along the length of the pipeline right-of-way.  Line markers WARN everyone that a pipeline or other utility is buried in the area.  They only indicate the approximate location of the pipeline and should not be used as means to locate the exact location of a pipeline.  The pipeline may not follow a straight line between the pipeline markers.  These markers give no information as to the depth of a pipeline, nor do they indicate the number of pipelines or other utilities buried there.


Never try to locate a pipeline yourself; comply with the law and always contact the North Carolina 811 at (8-1-1) to have underground facilities located.  Provide them the information that they request related to your excavation project, and they will notify every company with a utility in the area of your planned excavation to locate and mark their facilities. 

The only requirement we ask is that you give a 72-hour notice or three (3) full working business days to allow us enough time to respond to the locate request and mark our utilities. Also, always keep in mind not to use mechanized excavation equipment within the tolerance zone of the locate marks for underground facilities.

The tolerance zone is the distance of one-half of the diameter plus 24 inches on either side of the marked center line for the facility or, if the diameter of the facility is not marked, 24 inches on either side of the outside edge of the mark indicating the facility location. Remember this service is completely free of charge for you.  For additional information call 811.


The Natural Gas Department of the City Of Monroe will help you determine the appropriate location of a gas meter at a structure.  We will help you choose a location that provides visibility and safety for the gas meter with respect to riding lawn mowers and falling objects.

Snow is not normally a problem in this area of the country; however, there is always a possibility of snow building up on the roof and eventually sliding off onto the gas meter.  There have been cases where this problem has caused the piping attached to the gas meter to break, causing a gas leak.

A typical gas meter is about two feet tall and two feet wide and may come away from the house about one and a half feet. It normally looks like this drawing.



Natural Gas Safety for the General Public
Natural Gas Safety for Excavators