Natural gas has a limited range of flammability – in concentrations in air below 5 percent and above 15 percent natural gas will not burn. It also has a high temperature ignition of about 1,100 to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Natural gas has no scent or color of its own, so government agencies require utility companies to add an odor. Atmos Energy and many other utilities mix in a harmless gas called “mercaptan,” which has the smell of rotten eggs. We follow precise steps to ensure proper levels of mercaptan are in the natural gas we deliver, so a person with a normal sense of smell will notice a leak if one happens.
To learn how to recognize a natural gas leak using all of your senses, click here.
In addition, residential methane detectors are available and can provide an additional ability to detect the presence of gas. These alarms must be selected and installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Learn more at the Gas Technology Institute.
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