Natural gas safety tips from the City of Union

By on Thursday, November 30th, 2023 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

UNION – (Information from the City of Union Newsletter) The holidays mean an uptick in both cooking and heating, and for many people, that means using natural gas. While gas as a heat source does have its perks, it also comes with a number of common safety risks. To help keep the community safe this winter, the City of Union has provided a list of safety recommendations for using gas appliances and infrastructure. Whether or not you’re actually a Union resident, it never hurts to brush up on safety.

Most utility providers will add a rotten egg smell to their gas lines to make a leak easily detectable. In the event of a leak, the City of Union offers the following DO NOT reminders:


  • Remain in the building where the leak was detected.
  • Use any light switches.
  • Try to find the source of the leak after detection.
  • Smoke or strike a match.
  • Use any electrical equipment that may cause a spark.

If a leak is detected, call 911 and the appropriate utility provider. Even outside of a leak or other immediate emergency, there are plenty of things residents and non-residents can do to safely use their gas appliances. As stated in the city’s recent newsletter:

  • “Have at least one working carbon monoxide detector for each level of your home
  • Never use a gas oven or range top as a space heater.
  • Never cover the temperature controls, air openings, or vents of a gas appliance.
  • Turn off gas fireplaces and space heaters before going to bed, they are not intended to be a main heat source.
  • Check gas appliance connector by a qualified appliance service contractor periodically.
  • Never attach electrical grounding wires to gas piping.
  • Keep the space around furnaces and water heaters clean and clear of build-up, rags, newspapers or other debris.
  • Never store combustibles such as gasoline, aerosol cans, paint, solvents, cleaners etc, near any fuel-burning equipment.
  • Be cautious using products such as paint strippers, glues, varnishes etc as they give off vapors that can be ignited by any flame source, such as a burner pilot light. Vapors can also corrode metal vents and appliance combustion chambers.
  • Turn off all gas appliances when using these types of products.
  • Be aware of where gas (and other utility) lines are buried, especially when working outdoors. Always call 811 before you dig!”

Stay safe and happy holidays.