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A publication for and about state employees

Natural Gas Safety

Olympia – Following the deadly gas explosion in Baltimore yesterday, the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office advises residents of the following recommendations regarding natural gas safety:

  • Locate the main gas shutoff valve for your home at the base of your gas meter.  Place a wrench at the gas meter and learn how to safely shut off the gas supply quickly in an emergency.
  • Locate the gas shutoff valves for individual appliances including cooktop, furnace, water heater, dryer and fireplace.  Make sure they are operable and can be closed if necessary.
  • Recognize the smell of mercaptan.  Mercaptan is an odorous gas added to the natural gas supply that gives natural gas the recognizable smell of rotten eggs.  If you notice the rotten egg smell in your home, evacuate immediately and call 911.

For further information, check with your local natural gas utility service or contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-596-3929.

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