Safety

Natural gas is:

  • Easy to detect even though it is odourless and colourless in its natural state because the smell of rotten eggs (thanks, mercaptan!) is added to it so you’ll know if your equipment has sprung a leak.
  • Lighter than air, and if it leaks, it simply dissipates as it rises into the atmosphere.
  • Hard to ignite and can only catch fire if a leak springs in an enclosed space and the gas mixes with the air’s oxygen at a concentration of 5-15%. Plus, the temperature must be at least 538° Celsius – that’s hot! – with a static electric discharge or flame coming from a socket. Basically, natural gas doesn’t ignite without many contributing factors in play.

Is natural gas toxic?

No, it is not. Natural gas is colourless, odourless and non-toxic. A rotten-egg smell is added to it for your safety. The smell is added so that even the smallest amount of escaped natural gas can be detected easily.

How is natural gas transported?

Natural gas is transported through a network of gas pipelines that extends right to the home or building that uses it.

How safe is natural gas?

Natural gas is one of the world’s safest sources of energy.

Natural gas also burns cleaner than fuel oil. Emissions produced by natural gas combustion are far less harmful than those produced by oil, coal and wood. No fuel tanks are required for delivery, reducing the risk of leaks polluting land and groundwater.

Despite the safety properties of natural gas, it is, of course, flammable and can produce carbon monoxide when trapped in a confined space and there is an inadequate supply of oxygen.

Our Commitment to Safety

Enbridge Gas New Brunswick is backed by Enbridge Gas Distribution’s 160 years of experience of providing customers with safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to homes and businesses. Safety is our top priority. We have put the following measures in place to further our obligation to your safety:

  • We conduct regular inspections and tests to ensure that our pipeline system and equipment are working safely and efficiently.
  • Our service and operations people are trained to carry out procedures according to strict codes and standards that cover everything from the distribution of natural gas to the inspection of equipment in your building.
  • The transportation and distribution of natural gas and the manufacture and installation of equipment are governed by stringent technical and safety codes and standards, developed by the gas industry and the provincial and federal governments. As a result, we have an excellent safety record.

It’s our duty – and pleasure – to provide you with all the maintenance and safety information you need.

You can request a copy of Enbridge Gas New Brunswick’s natural gas Material Safety Data Sheet here.

Emergency Services courtesy of Enbridge Gas New Brunswick

Unlike other energy sources, we provide free emergency service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us to report:

  • If you smell gas
  • Carbon monoxide alarm sounds
  • Fires that involve natural gas
  • Broken gas pipe or meter
  • Overheating of natural gas equipment

It’s also up to you to put safety into practice. A small investment of time and attention now could result in a safer working environment for yourself and the people you are doing work for.

Call or Click Before You Dig

Digging in the wrong spot during renovations could damage the underground network of natural gas pipes, telephone, hydro and cable TV wires, as well as water and sewer connections. This could cut off service not just to your business, but also to the entire neighbourhood. You do not want your usually friendly neighbours banging on your door to demand to know why they can’t watch their favourite shows. Besides missing TV shows, you could cause a safety risk to yourself and others by digging in the wrong spot.

Contractors and homeowners are required by law to obtain the location of buried natural gas pipes before breaking ground. So before you dig, call 1-866-344-5463 or visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com to request a free utility line locate. 

Enbridge Gas New Brunswick offers a free service to protect you and others from unnecessary damage. We will locate underground natural gas pipes and mark them with yellow paint, stakes or flags so that you can avoid damaging underground pipes. Damaging underground services can have serious consequences for you such as:

  • Injuries
  • Loss of service, creating a safety risk for you and others
  • Expensive restoration costs and potential legal action

Enbridge Gas New Brunswick requires a minimum of three business days notice.

Call 1-866-344-5463 or visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com at least three days (72 hours) before you plan to dig. For emergency locates, Enbridge Gas New Brunswick is available 24/7. Have a pen or your tablet ready and be prepared to provide:

  • Who is digging
  • When and where you are digging
  • Why and how you plan to dig
  • Telephone number for a return call

If necessary, a locator will visit the site and identify and mark the location of underground pipes.

Protecting Yourself from the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is odourless, colourless, tasteless and very poisonous.

CO prevents your blood from absorbing oxygen leading to loss of consciousness and, in extreme cases, death. It is slightly lighter than air and would tend to rise up as it enters a space.

Unborn babies, infants, seniors, pets and people with coronary or respiratory problems are extremely vulnerable.

Click here for more information on CO

What are the symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide?

Exposure to CO can cause flu–like symptoms without a fever, including: headaches, Nausea, Dizziness, Drowsiness or fatigue, Burning eyes, Confusion, Unconsciousness, Loss of coordination

What to do?

  • Leave the house/building immediately and get medical help.
  • Call 911.

If you experience these symptoms while inside, but feel better outdoors or away from home, CO may be the cause.

What are the danger signs of carbon monoxide?

Watch out for these signs:

  • Stale, stuffy air in the workspace.
  • The pilot light of the furnace or other gas–fired equipment keeps going out.
  • A sharp smell of rotten eggs coming from furnaces and appliances.
  • A normally clear blue burner flame becomes “lazy” and mostly yellow or pilot light turns mostly yellow.
  • Chalky, white powder on a chimney or exhaust vent pipe or soot build–up around the exhaust vent.
  • Excessive moisture on walls or windows in areas with natural gas equipment.
  • Check your humidifier settings: if the humidifier is turned up too much, this can also cause moisture build up on windows and walls.

Where does carbon monoxide come from?

CO is a by–product of burning fuels, including wood, heating oil, propane, kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel, coal, charcoal, and natural gas. Carbon monoxide hazards can result from:

  • Appliances that are not properly maintained.
  • Gas–fired equipment in an enclosed space, which has an inadequate fresh air supply.
  • Dirt and blockage.
  • Careless use of equipment
  • Using equipment that consumes household/office air. A roaring fire can use up to ten times as much air as a furnace.
  • Tobacco smoking.

Do natural gas appliances produce carbon monoxide?

Natural gas appliances that are properly installed and maintained should not release carbon monoxide.

What to do if you Smell Gas

Call Enbridge Gas New Brunswick for free emergency service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-994-2762.

If you notice a slight smell of gas:

  • Open doors and windows.
  • Call Enbridge immediately.

If the smell gets stronger and/or is accompanied by a “hissing” noise:

  • Remain calm.
  • Leave the house/business immediately, leaving the doors and windows open.
  • Call Enbridge from a safe distance.

If you smell gas outside:

  • Call Enbridge Gas New Brunswick.
  • Keep clear of the area and keep doors and windows closed.
  • Extinguish all open flames

If you see a gas fire:

  • Call 911.
  • Do not attempt to put out the fire yourself and never use water on burning gas.

If you are near a gas leak:

  • Do not turn electrical switches or appliances, etc. on or off.
  • Do not use a cellular telephone.
  • Do not start any motors or motor vehicles.
  • Do not use lighters or matches or smoke.

If you smell gas indoors or outdoors:

  • Do not use your telephone or cellular phone. Call from a neighbour’s or nearby business’ phone.
  • Do not turn any electrical switches, appliances or computers on or off.
  • Do not smoke or use lighters or matches.
  • Do not start any motors or motorized vehicles near the gas leak.

When you call:

Please provide your account number printed on your gas bill, or your service address, and describe your concern to the customer service representative. If you are calling on behalf of the business owner or homeowner you are doing work for, get their account information ready if possible.

Ask to see Enbridge Gas New Brunswick ID:

If required, a service technician will visit the home or business to evaluate and make safe the problem. When they arrive, ask to see their Enbridge photo ID. If you have any doubts, call us before letting that person into your home.

Sewer Safety FAQ

If you, your plumber or contractor need to clear a blockage in a sewer service line beyond the outside wall of a home or business with rotating or water jetting (flushing) equipment, it is extremely important to obtain a natural gas line locate BEFORE attempting to clear it, even if you are not a natural gas customer call 1-866-344-5463 for a free natural gas locate.

What’s the connection between a blocked sewer line and a natural gas line?

Utilities that use equipment to install underground infrastructure without using a trench (trenchless technology) have become aware, in recent years, that some of their infrastructure may have intersected with existing municipal sewer lines. This affects underground infrastructure including power, telecommunication and natural gas lines in jurisdictions across North America.

Under these circumstances, a natural gas line will remain in a safe condition as long as it is left alone. However, a serious safety risk could arise if power equipment is used to clear a sewer service line and causes damage to the natural gas line.

My sewer is blocked, what should I do?

If you, your plumber or contractor need to clear a sewer service line beyond the outside wall of a building using rotating or water jetting (flushing) equipment, it is very important that you call 1-866-344-5463 to schedule a free natural gas pipeline locate before doing any further work.

If you do not need to go beyond the outside wall of a building to fix the problem or if you use a video inspection to confirm there is no natural gas line in the sewer, you do not need to call Enbridge Gas New Brunswick.

I’m not a natural gas customer, should I have to call?

Yes. Even if you are not a natural gas customer, your property may be located near the natural gas distribution system which means it is still important to call to obtain a natural gas locate prior to conducting any work beyond the outside wall of a building.

How do I know if a natural gas line has been damaged?

Signs that a natural gas line has been damaged during a sewer service line clearing could include the following:

  • Bubbling water
  • A hissing sound
  • Natural gas odour (similar to the smell of rotten eggs)
  • Blowing dirt

Flooding and Natural Gas Safety

If the situation affects natural gas appliances, close the natural gas shutoff valve and call Enbridge Gas New Brunswick at 1-800-994-2762. We will come to your home/business free of charge and turn the supply of natural gas off at the gas meter. A technician will turn off the natural gas service and cap the gas line outside at the meter, if required. It is your responsibility to decide to relocate your equipment.

Find more information click here.

What you Need to Know about Winter Safety

As a customer, it is your responsibility to ensure your natural gas meter and equipment are clear of ice and snow during the winter months.

Ice or snow buildup can impair the operation of the gas meter. In the event of an emergency, Enbridge Gas New Brunswick or the Fire Department may require immediate access to the meter and shut-off valve. A heavy snowstorm, drifting snow or equipment clearing snow from a walkway, driveway or parking lot could bury your meter and create a hazard.

Winter Safety Tips:

  • Check for and keep snow and ice from building up on your natural gas meter, gas piping and appliance exhaust vents.
  • It is important that you carefully clear your natural gas meter and the air intakes and exhaust pipes of snow using a broom or brush to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your natural gas equipment.
  • Use extra caution when clearing the snow on your natural gas meter, piping and appliance exhaust vents to avoid damage to the natural gas equipment.
  • Do not use a shovel, sharp objects or anything hard to clear snow or ice.
  • Never pour hot water on the natural gas equipment to melt ice.
  • Use extra caution when using your shovel, plow or snow blower to avoid piling snow against your natural gas meter, piping and appliance exhaust vents.
  • Check the area around your natural gas meter regularly. If possible, maintain a path to your meter.
  • Notify your snow removal contractor about the location of the gas meter and request that it not be covered.
  • Make sure that roof run-off, freezing rain or water from an eaves trough does not cause a buildup of ice on your meter.

If Your Meter is Covered in Ice:

  • Call Enbridge Gas New Brunswick’s customer service line (1-800-994-2762) immediately. Do not attempt to remove the ice yourself.
  • We will send a Natural Gas Technician to the site to determine the level of hazard.
  • If there is an extensive amount of ice, we will shut the natural gas meter off so a third party contractor can remove the ice.
  • Once the ice is removed, we will conduct a safety inspection, turn the meter back on, and ensure the safe and efficient operation of the natural gas equipment.