Safety is our top priority—all year long. But during the fall and winter months as temperatures drop and heating systems run, natural gas safety is even more important.
Each year, our crews modernize more than eight miles of natural gas mains across our service area, replacing existing natural gas mains with new plastic pipe, which enhances safety, is more durable and improves reliability. This proactive work helps ensure that our more than 136,000 natural gas customers have safe and reliable service when they need it most on those cold winter days.
Just as we proactively ensure our system is ready, customers should have their heating systems checked now and inspected by a qualified technician to ensure safe and efficient operation for the season ahead.
Customers should remember the following important information about natural gas:
- Natural gas has no natural odor, so an odorant is added to help detect when a leak occurs.
- Leaks can be caused by construction or by ground movement during winter's deep freeze.
- Promptly reporting a natural gas odor plays a critical role in ensuring safety.
If you smell natural gas, please calls us immediately at 302-454-0317, 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.
- If you smell a strong odor of natural gas, you should do the following:
- Evacuate the area immediately, call 911 and Delmarva Power from a safe location.
- Do not turn any electrical switches on or off.
- Do not use devices such as phones, radios, doorbells, or flashlights.
- Do not smoke, strike a match, or use a lighter.
- Do not start a motor vehicle near the building.
To promote good maintenance practices for natural gas equipment, especially during the winter season, customers should do the following:
- Keep exhaust vents for natural gas appliances (e.g. water heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces) clear of snow and ice to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide.
- Keep shoveled and plowed snow piles far away from your gas meter and never use a shovel or sharp tool to chip ice away – this can cause damage or break the meter.
For more safety tips and natural gas information, visit online at delmarva.com/gassafety