Detecting a Leak

How to detect a leak

If you suspect a gas leak inside your home or business and cannot shut off the gas, immediately evacuate the area and contact 911. Common signs of a gas leak include:

  • Smell

    Odor of rotten eggs. The nose knows.

  • Listen for

    An unusual hissing or blowing noise from a gas appliance, the ground or exposed gas piping.

  • Look for

    Flames near exposed piping or coming from the ground. Appliance flames that are behaving in an unusual way.

  • Look for

    Constant and localized blowing of dirt, dust or debris.

  • Look for

    Rapid bubbling at the surface of a body of water such as a puddle.

  • Look for

    Unusual brown, dying or dead vegetation in otherwise moist areas over or near pipeline areas as well as unusual soil movement.

  • Watch for

    A sudden and unexplained increase in gas consumption on your gas bill.

  • Look for

    Damaged connections to gas appliances.

  • Look for

    Exposed pipeline after an earthquake, fire, flood or other disaster.

What to do and not do if you detect a gas leak

  • Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames.
  • Turn off machinery and engines and don’t use cell phones or electrical switches.
  • Turn off the gas at the tank or appliance if it is accessible and safe to do so.
  • Ventilate the area by opening windows if indoors.
  • If the leak is outside and underground, do not fill the hole with water.
  • If there is a gas fire, do not try to extinguish it unless you are able to shut off the source of the gas.
  • Immediately leave the area and warn others to stay away.
  • Call the Hawaii Gas office nearest you if there is no immediate danger or call 911.
  • Do not attempt to turn the gas back on by yourself – contact Hawaii Gas to have a trained, qualified energy professional restore your service.
  • DO NOT rely on your sense of smell alone to detect the presence of natural gas or propane gas.
  • When installing gas appliances or equipment, the manufacturer's instruction manual should be followed in accordance with the local code authority.