Gas Safety Awareness

Understanding where pipelines and pipeline facilities are located, the potential hazards and how to identify and respond to a potential leak will help keep your family, your employees and your community safe. 

Do you have a family or business evacuation plan in the unlikely event of a pipeline leak or rupture?
Ensure the safety of your family, employees and protect your property by familiarizing yourself with the location of pipelines and pipeline facilities near your home or business and by knowing how to identify, respond to and prevent a leak or rupture. 

Because natural gas is distributed through underground pipelines, delivery disruptions occur less often than electrical outages. Severe storms, flooding, and earthquakes can expose and break pipes, however. When disruptions do occur, it can take weeks or even months to restore. Homeowners should take care in identifying and reporting any problems, as they may pose substantial risk to public health and safety. A break in a natural gas pipeline can lead to fires and/or explosions. Many of the following guidelines would apply if you detect a propane tank leak, as well. Contact your propane retailer or local fire department in an emergency.

Natural Gas Safety FAQs Farmers and Ranchers

What does natural gas smell like?

In its pure form, natural gas is odorless. We add a harmless odorizing agent that produces a distinctive, pungent smell that reminds some of sulfur or rotten eggs. This makes it possible for you to detect even a small leak.

What should I do if I smell gas?
Use caution! A natural gas leak can cause an explosion if ignited by a spark.

If you smell gas in your home, leave your house immediately and call our emergency service number (318-744-5794) or After Hours Call: (318-744-5411) from another location such as a neighbor’s house.

For your own safety, remember these rules in the event you smell gas:

  •  Do not use your electric garage door opener to leave your house. Any motorized appliance could spark, igniting the natural gas.
  • Do not use your phone to call us unless you are outside and away from your house. Using any type of telephone could ignite the leaking gas.
  • Do not turn any light switches or other electrical devices on or off. Anything electrical, even something as small as a thermostat, may cause a spark and ignite leaking gas.
  • Do not try to re-light the pilot light. Leave gas furnaces, water heaters and other gas appliances alone until you are certain that it is safe.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes or light candles. Using a lighter or a match could ignite the leaking gas.

Who is responsible for maintaining the gas piping on my property?

The customer is responsible for the maintenance of all gas piping (“customer service line”) from the edge of property line to the gas meter and into your home to all gas appliances. Buried gas piping (customer service line) that is not properly maintained is subject to potential hazards such as corrosion and leakage.

For your safety, all buried gas piping should be periodically inspected for leaks. If the buried piping is metallic, it should also be periodically inspected for corrosion. If an unsafe condition is found, the gas piping will need to be promptly repaired.

When digging near buried gas piping, the line must be located in advance and digging should be done by hand. Qualified plumbing and heating contractors can assist in locating, inspecting and repairing buried pipelines.

Homeowners call 811 or click here to submit a locate order.

  • Certify your system—Homeowners are responsible for maintaining all natural gas lines on your side of the meter, as well as any appliances powered by natural gas. Before your gas company can restore service:
    • Your home must have electricity, and it must be habitable and occupied.
    • Your furnaces, boilers, or other appliances must be free of standing water. A qualified technician must service and inspect any appliances exposed to flooding or other damage, as well as the gas meter area. Provide entry and clear access to these appliances and areas.
    • Once a qualified technician says your natural gas system and appliances are safe for use, he or she must connect your natural gas line to the natural gas valve before the valve can be turned on. Learn more

For additional emergency-planning resources, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website, State and local emergency management authorities and local utilities may also provide helpful guidance.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas produced by the incomplete burning of different fuels including gasoline, kerosene, wood, coal, propane, natural gas and fuel oil. High concentrations of CO can cause illness and excessive levels can be fatal.

If you suspect that someone may be experiencing CO poisoning in your home, call 911 or your local Fire Department immediately!

Know the symptoms:

Breathing CO may include the following flu-like symptoms:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • burning eyes
  • irregular breathing
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • unconsciousness

Preventing CO in your home

A few simple tips can help keep you and your family safe.

  • Make sure all appliances are properly installed and maintained.
  • Have a heating professional clean and check your heating and venting every year.
  • Between inspections, look for signs of water collecting near burners or vents. Also check vents, flue pipes and chimneys for corrosion or blockage.
  • Never run a vehicle or fuel-burning equipment in an enclosed place.
  • CO detectors are strongly recommended as an extra measure of safety and can be purchased at most discount and hardware stores.

Who should I call before I dig?

Even jobs that seem simple, such as planting a tree or installing a fence or a deck, can become dangerous and costly if an underground utility line is damaged.

Simply call one of these state agencies at least two full working days in advance to have utility lines marked at no cost. It’s a simple call that can avoid serious accidents.
Louisiana One Call: 811  811

Take these steps in the event of a ruptured gas line near your home or business:

  • Leave the area of the gas leak immediately.
  • Call 911 from somewhere other than the location of the gas leak.

Public Awareness Safety Message

 Natural gas is an extremely safe form of energy and is transported to industrial, Commercial and residential customers by buried pipelines. Natural gas pipelines are built and operated in accordance with State and Federal Safety Codes. Pipelines are a reliable and safe method to transport natural gas.

 Homeowners and Excavators are required by law to “ call before you dig”. Always call 811 before you dig. It is a free call and there is no cost to the homeowner to have underground utilities located. You are required to call at least 48 hrs. in advance of digging call811 . The utility companies will mark the underground facilities with paint and flags. You are required to hand dig test holes carefully to determine the exact location and depth of the buried utility. Damage to natural gas lines may cause leakage resulting in a fire or an explosion.

Contact your gas provider 318-744-5794, the fire department or 911 if you suspect or discover a gas leak. If the leak is inside your home, you should leave the residence and make the telephone call from outside the home or from a neighbor’s telephone. Do not try to stop or repair the leak yourself or use anything that might create a spark such as light switches, electric doorbells, or telephones. Do not smoke. Never try to extinguish a gas fire.

 Natural gas has a chemical additive that gives it a familiar “rotten egg” odor; however smelling natural gas is not the only method of detecting a gas leak. A gas leak may be indicated by observing dirt blowing on the ground, bubbling in a water puddle or an unusual area of dead vegetation. You may also hear a hissing sound.

 The gas company works with emergency responders and state and local agencies to prevent and prepare for emergencies. We maintain up to date operations and maintenance procedures that are made available to local and state authorities. Gas companies are required to perform pressure tests on pipelines before they are put in service. Federal codes require periodic leak surveys to locate leaks so they may be repaired before they become hazardous.

 If you suspect the presence of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home, call 911, open windows, and, if necessary, leave your residence. The presence of CO is an indication of a malfunctioning gas, propane, or wood-burning appliance. It is not caused by a gas leak.

Farmers and Ranchers

Do you always call One-Call before initiating any deep excavation activity?
Farm and ranch equipment is a common source of pipeline damage and can cause loss of life and property. Excavation activities that fall outside the scope of normal farming activities and deep excavation activity, including plowing, tilling, drain tiling, ditch cleaning, terracing, subsoiling, or installing a fence can endanger underground pipelines.

Farmers and ranchers can protect their family, employees and property by verifying the location of pipelines before excavating and knowing how to identify, respond to and prevent a leak or rupture.