Natural gas is colourless, odourless and non-toxic. As a safety precaution, to provide speedy detection of a leak of natural gas, a chemical that smells like rotten eggs is added to it.
The unusual smell is immediately noticeable. When natural gas appliances are operating properly, there is no odour.
The following safety tips apply to all the natural gas appliances in your home.
- To ensure your family’s safety, have all your appliances installed and maintained regularly by a certified natural gas professional. Properly installed and maintained natural gas appliances are safe, clean and operate efficiently. You should also have your gas ventilation system inspected regularly. Certified natural gas professionals are listed in the telephone directory under “Heating”.
- Combustion heating appliances need air intake to completely burn the combustion products and gases they produce. The main byproducts of the complete combustion (burning) of natural gas are heat, water and carbon dioxide.
- The pilot light or the flame from the burner in any natural gas appliance should be mostly blue, with a small yellow tip. (The only exceptions are new natural gas fireplaces, which have ceramic logs and produce realistic yellow flames). If the flame in a natural gas appliance is white, noisy or uneven, this could indicate a problem that should not be ignore. To ensure proper operation, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, wich may differ from one model to another. Prefer regular maintenance by a certified natural gas technician.
- Keep the area around your natural gas appliances tidy, and do not store anything near them. Do not block the controls, air intakes or exhaust outlets.
Do you smell gas outside your home?
- Immediately call the Gazifère emergency number: 819 771-8321 and press 1, or dial 9-1-1. Be ready to provide the address or the names of the streets at the nearest intersection.
- Keep clear of the area.
- Do not use a cell phone, start any motors or motor vehicles, use lighters or matches or smoke near a natural gas leak.
- If the leaking natural gas is burning, do not attempt to put out the fire yourself. Immediately call 9-1-1.
Do you smell gas inside your home?
Natural gas is colourless, odourless and non-toxic. As a safety precaution, to enable the speedy detection of a leak of natural gas, a chemical that smells like rotten eggs is added to it. The unusual smell is immediately noticeable. When natural gas appliances are operating properly, there is no odour.
If the smell is very weak and coming from an appliance:
- Open the doors and windows to ventilate the house.
- Call the Gazifère emergency number at once: 819 771-8321 and select option 1.
If the smell is strong and you hear a hissing sound:
- Stay calm. Do not use the telephone, do not touch a switch, do not turn any appliance on or off, do not smoke and do not light a flame of any kind.
- Immediately evacuate all occupants and pets.
- If possible, leave the door open to ventilate the house.
- Call our emergency number from a neighbour’s telephone.
- If the leaking natural gas is burning, do not try to put the fire out. Dial 9-1-1.
There is no charge for a safety inspection following the reporting of a suspected natural gas odour.
To ensure the safe and efficient operation of your natural gas appliances, it is important that you carefully clear the air intakes, exhaust pipes and your meter.
Use a broom or brush to clean your natural gas meter. It is a fragile piece of equipment; do not use a shovel or anything hard to clear it of snow.
Check the area around your natural gas meter, the air intake and exhaust pipes regularly.
Make sure that roof run-off, freezing rain or water from an eaves trough does not cause a buildup of ice on your meter.
If your meter becomes covered in ice, call Customer Service promptly at 819 771-8321.
DON’T TAKE CHANCES!
Do not attempt to clear blocked sewer lines beyond the walls of a building without taking the proper precautions.
Before work starts, a few questions to ask your plumber:
Do you need to clear the sewer line beyond the walls of the building?
If the answer is no: work can begin.
If the answer is yes:
Do you plan to use any rotating equipment or water jetting?
If the answer is no: work can begin.
If the answer is yes:
Will you be making a video inspection of the sewer line to confirm visually that there is no natural gas line running through it, and will you be taking every precaution?
If the answer is yes: work can begin.
If the answer is no:
It is important to contact Info-Excavation at 1 800 663-9228 and select the emergency option to request a locate for any natural gas lines that may be nearby.
IMPORTANT: Never begin clearing sewer lines until you have the locate sheet and additional instructions.
The locate service is quick and free of charge.
What you need to know:
Damage to a natural gas line could cause a gas leak and a subsequent fire or explosion.
Water that is bubbling, a hissing sound, a natural gas odour, or a puff of dust: these are all signs that a natural gas line has been damaged while clearing out a sewer line.
If you suspect a natural gas leak:
- evacuate the building at once
- move to a safe distance
- call 9-1-1.
The land around your house may conceal a network of electrical cables, gas pipes and telephone or television cables.
Before you dig, make sure it is safe to do so!
Contact Info-Excavation 3 business days before work begins.
There is no charge for this service.
Place your locate request online: www.info-ex.com.
The Quebec alliance for the protection of underground installation (APISQ) has produced a DVD illustrating gentle excavation techniques designed to prevent damage to buried infrastructure, thereby reducing the risk of what can be very serious consequences not only for workers’ safety, but for the general public as well.
To view the guide of the Excavation Work Done Near Our Underground Infrastructures, click here.
To view the guide of the Best Practices in Underground Infrastructure Damage Prevention of the Canadian Common Ground Alliance, click here.
Stop gas service during renovation work
During building renovation work, it may be necessary to stop natural gas delivery. Please print and complete the stop gas service request form.
Stop gas service during demolition work– (Builders and contractors)
If you plan to undertake demolition work, you must ensure, in the interest of public and contractor safety, that natural gas service has been safely stopped before work begins. Please print and complete the stop gas service request form.
- Please note that a 15 day notice period is required to stop gas service for demolition work.
Quebec’s Construction Code provides that the water heater temperature is to be set at 60°C (140°F). Keeping the water in your water heater at 60°C considerably reduces the risk of legionellosis-causing bacteria. As with other bacteria, stagnant water under 50°C is a perfect medium for them to grow in.
The Construction Code also provides that the temperature of water coming out of the shower and bath faucets be no higher than 49°C.
AVOID THE RISK OF SCALDING BY HOT WATER
There are a number of ways you can protect your family against the risk of scalding by tap water.
Temperature regulators can be installed on every water tap. Alternatively, you can lower the temperature of your tap water by having a mixing valve installed right at the water heater outlet. The device automatically adjusts the mix of cold and hot water to bring the water outlet temperature to 49°C. That way, regardless of the hot water source, the risk of scalding is greatly reduced. It should be noted that for people with lower tolerance to hot water, the water temperature can be set at 43°C.
To have a mixing valve installed or for any other plumbing project, contact a master pipe mechanic who is a member of CMMTQ. You will find the list of all master pipe mechanics in Quebec (CMMTQ) from Outaouais region here.
TIPS TO AVOID HOT WATER SCALDING
- teach children to open the cold water tap first and to close the hot water tap first;
- never let a child fill the bathtub or adjust the shower temperature; and
- check the water temperature with your elbow before putting a child in the tub because a child’s skin is thinner, and burns four times faster than that of an adult!