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Ways to Detect a Natural Gas Leak 

Smell – since natural gas has no scent, a strong odorant that smells like rotten eggs is added to help you detect possible leaks.

However, never rely solely on your sense of smell to determine if a natural gas leak exists or if natural gas is present. Some people may not be able to detect the odorant because they have a diminished sense of smell or olfactory fatigue, or because the odor is being masked by other scents in the area. In addition, certain conditions in the pipe and soil may cause the odorant to diminish so that it is not detectable.

Other Signs of a Potential Natural Gas Leak

Sight – look for dirt blowing into the air, persistent bubbling in standing water, or discolored or dead vegetation around the pipeline area.

Sound – listen for any unusual hissing or roaring sound.

If you smell or suspect a natural gas leak ...


Evacuate everyone from the building or site immediately and then call NJNG from a safe location at 800-GAS-LEAK (427-5325). Let us know where you are. 


  • Remove any cigarettes or other smoking materials from the area, and then extinguish them.
  • Do NOT use matches, lighters or other open flames or activate light switches, electrical appliances, flashlights, doorbells or even garage door openers, as they could create a spark.
  • Do NOT use telephones (cellular included) on the premises where the leak is suspected. Phones can create a spark.
  • Do not re-enter the building until NJNG has declared it to be safe.
For your safety, we promptly investigate suspected natural gas leaks as a FREE service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Click here to download NJNG’s natural gas leak safety brochure, It Smells Bad for a Good Reason, written in both Spanish and English. To request a FREE print copy of this brochure, send an e-mail request to or call 800-221-0051