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How to Recognize a Natural Gas Leak

Natural gas leaks are rare but can occur in a variety of places, so it is important to be aware of the signs.

Because natural gas is colorless and odorless, Unitil adds a harmless, non-toxic chemical that makes it easier to detect a gas leak before it can create a hazardous situation. The chemical additive is called Mercaptan, and it gives the rotten eggs smell to natural gas. Natural gas is also lighter than air, so if it escapes, it rises into the air and dissipates quickly.

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Signs of a Leak

A gas leak is often recognized by sight, sound or smell.

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