Area homeowners are getting safety tips this week about what to do in the event of a gas leak.
Years ago Merle Barnes used a gas oven range, but converted her stove and water heater to electric. Barnes was terrified about the possibility of a gas leak.
"Every time I tried to light the oven it would just make the loudest noise and just scare me to death. I'm afraid of gas leaks and explosions,” says Barnes.
Natural gas is odorless, but a chemical is added to it to produce a scent. The way to detect that you have a leak will be the strong smell of rotten eggs. If you suspect your home has a gas leak here are a few safety tips from Thomasville Utilities: leave the building and open doors and windows on the way out. Don't try to locate the gas leak yourself, and don't smoke or strike matches in the area.
"You don't want to do things like switch on and off light switches or turn on and off phones because those can create a spark and cause an explosion or fire," says Sherri Nix of Thomasville Utilities.
The fumes from gas leaks can also be deadly, and Barnes says that's one thing she doesn't have to worry about anymore.
"I feel safer with electric and it's like it's cleaner, the air is cleaner," says Barnes.
That gives her yet another reason to be able to breathe a little easier day after day.
Thomasville Utilities has a 24-hour energy control center. If you ever have any questions or need to report a gas leak, call 227-5499.