​​*Natural gas has a distinctive, strong odor, often compared to rotten eggs or sulfur.​ ​

​What to do if you smell natural gas 

INSIDE your home or building:

  • Step 1: Leave immediately on foot! Do not use electric switches, telephones (including cell phones), drive or start a car or anything that could cause a spark.
  • Step 2: Go directly to a safe location, on foot,  and call both CenterPoint Energy and 911. Do not use e-mail or the Internet to contact the company about a leak, and never assume someone else has reported the leak.
  • Step 3: Alert your neighbors. CenterPoint Energy checks suspected natural gas leaks at no cost to you.
  • Step 4: Never try to repair a natural gas leak yourself. Leave all repairs to a trained technician. 

OUTSIDE your home or building:

  • Step 1: Leave immediately on foot! Do not use electric switches, telephones (including cell phones), start or drive a car or anything that could cause a spark. Move in a upwind direction away from the leak or vapor cloud where you can no longer smell gas​ and maintain a safe distance.
  • Step 2: Go directly to a safe location and call both CenterPoint Energy and 911​.
  • Step 3: Warn others to stay away from the leak. Abandon any equipment being used in or near the area.
 
*Some persons may not be able to smell the odor because they have a diminished sense of smell, olfactory fatigue (normal, temporary inability to distinguish an odor after prolonged exposure to it) or because the odor is being masked or hidden by other odors that are present in the area, such as cooking smells or damp, musty, or chemical odors.
 
In addition, under certain rare circumstances, odor fade (the loss of odorant so that it is not readily detectable by smell) can occur.  Odor fade is caused by physical and chemical processes.  Other factors that may cause odor fade include: construction and configuration of the customer’s gas facilities; presence of rust, moisture, liquids, or other substances in the pipe; gas composition, pressure, and flow; intermittent, little, or no gas flow over an extended period that normally lasts until the gas flow increases or becomes more frequent; new pipe installations; steel and larger pipes; and certain types of dry soil.
 
For more detailed information on odorant fade, refer to the ​Safety Bulletin​ for contractors who work on natural gas piping, appliances, and equipment and customers.  ​