Customer Support

Gas Emergencies & Outages

What to do if your gas is out or you suspect there’s a leak

Natural gas is reliable and safe when used properly. But just like electrical outages, there are dangers to be aware of and prepare for in order to keep your family and home safe.

How to recognize a natural gas leak

If you suspect a leak, leave your home or business immediately and call
1-800-895-2999 or 911 in an emergency once you are safely outside.

Use your senses to recognize a potentially dangerous natural gas leak:

  1. Smell: Natural gas is odorless except for the harmless odorant we add to help you detect a leak. The added odorant, called mercaptan, has a sulfur-like smell, similar to a rotten egg.
  2. Hear: A leak may produce a noise that ranges from next to nothing to a slight hiss to a loud roar, depending on the leak’s size and pressure.
  3. See: A leak may cause dust, dirt or debris to fly, or create blowing or continuous bubbling movement in water. It also can cause a spot of dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area.

How to respond to a natural gas leak

When an odor is persistent or seems to be everywhere, it could be a sign of a gas leak inside your home or with an outside line. Upon detecting such an odor, immediately get everyone out of your home or building, move a safe distance away and then call for help. Because an electric spark can ignite an explosion, remember to follow these tips:

  1. Do not turn on or turn off electrical switches.
  2. Avoid using electric appliances such as garage door openers or telephones of any type.
  3. Do not start up or shut down motor vehicles or any other electrical equipment.
  4. Do not strike a match. Avoid open flames or other ignition sources.
  5. Move to a location a safe distance away from your home when the odor is outdoors.
  6. Call Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-2999 or 911 in an emergency.
  7. Stay away until Xcel Energy or the emergency responders have told you it’s safe to return.

How to respond to a natural gas service outage

While rare, natural gas outages can occur. Power outages can also interrupt natural gas service. Here are some tips for staying warm if your gas service is interrupted while the weather is cold:

In addition, take care when choosing alternative heat sources:

If you are having trouble keeping your home comfortably warm during a natural gas service outage, do not stay overnight. Consider spending the night with family or friends, in a hotel or contact your local police or fire department to see if shelters are available.

For more information:

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Energy Saving Tip

Rather than crank up your heat in the winter, keep your thermostat at a moderate level and bundle up. (Who doesn't love fuzzy slippers?)

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Break Ground, Not the Law

Always call 811 before digging in your yard to avoid hitting buried gas or electric lines. Not only is it the safe thing to do, but it's the law.

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