For more information on natural gas safety, tour our natural gas safety section by navigating through the links on the left.
Natural gas range
Never use natural gas ranges for heating. Using a range as a source of heat can cause dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide (CO) to build up in your home or building.
Call CenterPoint Energy if you notice a pilot flame suddenly burning much higher than normal because it might be a surge in gas pressure.
Is your flame blue?
On a natural gas appliance, the color of the flame is a good indicator of incomplete combustion. The flame should always burn blue, not orange or yellow. If the flame is not blue, it may be a sign that the appliance needs adjusting or cleaning. Appliances should always be checked and adjusted by a qualified service technician.
Natural gas fireplace logs are an exception to the blue flame rule. Most of these products are designed to be operated with a yellow or orange flame in order to achieve a more realistic appearance. Any time they are used, the damper in the fireplace should be open.
Set your water heater temperature to 120°F (low or warm) to help prevent accidental burns. Water heaters set at 140°F or higher pose a potential danger, especially to children and the elderly. It takes just five seconds to receive a third-degree burn from 140°F water. See the instruction manual before setting the temperature on the water heater. You should always feel the water before bathing or showering. Temperature limiting valves are available. Check your owner's manual for information.
Natural gas grill
Never use your natural gas grill inside a garage, in an enclosed porch or directly under low eaves or overhangs. Also, keep your grill at a safe distance from wood siding, deck railings and other surfaces that could ignite.
Natural gas dryer
Check your clothes dryer's exhaust duct, vent and hood cover (outside the house) periodically, removing any lint or obstruction.
Have a qualified technician check your heating system annually. Technicians check for proper combustion, carbon monoxide levels and flue gas temperature, burners and the heat exchanger to ensure proper operation.
Flexible Natural Gas Connectors
Natural gas connectors are corrugated metal tubes that connect a home’s or business's natural gas appliances to a fuel source. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns natural gas users that older brass, uncoated appliance connectors can come apart, causing fires and explosions resulting in deaths and injuries.
Defective connectors are most often found on natural gas ranges, ovens and clothes dryers (sometimes on water heaters and furnaces) that are 20 years old or older. If you suspect you may have an uncoated, brass connector, follow these simple steps:
- NEVER move the appliance or disturb the connector. This could cause the connector to break, which could cause a fire or explosion.
- Schedule a qualified plumber or heating dealer to inspect the connector. NEVER try to do this yourself.
- If necessary, ask the qualified technician to replace the old connector with a new model certified by the American Gas Association. Newer connectors are made of stainless steel or plastic-coated metal.
- Replace all uncoated brass connector immediately.
View an illustration of a natural gas connector, and get more information.
Keep flammables away from appliances
Never use or store flammable products such as gasoline, solvents or adhesives near a water heater or any other natural gas or electric appliance because vapors from flammable liquids can ignite.
Manufacturers have adopted a standard to produce 30- to 50-gallon water heaters with technology that helps prevent flammable liquids from igniting. Since older water heaters are not equipped with this resistant technology, they are more susceptible to flammable vapors. In the right conditions, flammable vapors can travel undetected along the floor aided by air vents. To minimize the risk of accidents, elevate the water heater at least eighteen inches above the floor. Keep all flammable products in tightly closed, approved containers, stored far away from all appliances and out of the reach of children. To find out more, visit the American Gas Association.