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Natural Gas Safety

Natural gas is a safe, clean-burning and efficient fuel used for heating homes and water. It is also used in food preparation, manufacturing processes and even to generate electricity. To burn, natural gas must mix with the proper amount of air and be ignited by a flame or spark. The process makes gas leaks dangerous because of the flammable and explosive nature of the fuel in uncontrolled conditions.

With more than 16,000 miles of gas distribution pipe and 1,275 miles of transmission gas lines, we at Ameren take our commitment of delivering safe, reliable natural gas seriously. 

If You Smell Natural Gas

  • If you detect an odor of natural gas, immediately leave your home or business and from a safe distance call Ameren.
  • Do not turn lights on or off, operate thermostats, garage door openers, appliances or anything that could cause a spark.
  • Do not use a phone or light a match or anything with a flame inside or near the building.
  • Do not open windows or doors to ventilate the building.
  • Do not re-enter the property for any reason until Ameren personnel tell you that it is safe to enter.

Safety Tips

  • Follow manufacturers’ directions or manuals for using and taking care of gas appliances. Seek qualified contractors help when necessary.
  • Have a fire extinguisher near any gas appliance. Use a carbon dioxide or a dry-chemical extinguisher for gas kitchen appliances.
  • If your gas appliance does not have an automatic igniter, always keep the pilot light on the gas appliance lit. If you extinguish it without turning off the gas supply, a dangerous gas build-up can occur and possibly result in an explosion.
  • Look for a certification seal when purchasing a new gas appliance. This ensures that the equipment design meets strict safety standards.
  • Never use your gas range to heat your home or apartment. The carbon monoxide fumes can put your family in serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Have your gas fireplace routinely serviced to ensure proper working order. Have a professional:
    • Adjust millivolt output.
    • Clean and adjust the glowing embers and logs for best appearance.
    • Clean the fan and related air circulation passages.
    • Clean the glass.
    • Check the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector.
    • Ensure vents are unobstructed.

Equipment Safety Tips

  • If you experience a natural gas service outage or you suspect a natural gas leak, leave the building immediately, then call Ameren. Do not open or close windows, turn any electrical device or light off or on, or use any other device that could cause a spark.
  • Make certain that chimneys, flues and vents for all natural gas appliances are also kept clear of snow and ice. Blockages can cause deadly carbon monoxide to build up inside your home in just a matter of hours.
  • Use a broom to keep natural gas meters and piping clear during the winter. Never use a shovel, ice chipper, pole or similar tool or even hit your natural gas meter or piping as this may damage equipment.
  • In the event of a power outage, do not use natural gas stove burners or the oven to heat your home.
  • Every home and apartment in Illinois is required to have at least one carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of every bedroom. In Missouri, some municipalities require CO2 detectors, but it is not mandated by law. Ameren has long advocated the use of carbon monoxide detectors as a way to prevent serious injury and death.


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