While natural gas is one of the safest energy sources, it is nevertheless important to follow the basic rules of prevention, maintenance and installation for natural gas equipment.
Know the properties of natural gas – one of the safest sources of energy!
It's not toxic
Natural gas is a safe, non-toxic energy source. Medical research has shown that people can breathe air with a natural gas concentration as high as 25% without any harmful effect on their health. It is the lack of oxygen in the air and not natural gas that might cause illness.
It's easy to detect
In its natural state, natural gas is odourless. Its signature smell comes from mercaptan, a substance added to natural gas in order to be able to detect it. Thanks to mercaptan, natural gas can be detected in the air at concentrations of as little as 0.2%.
It's lighter than air
If natural gas escapes into the air, it simply rises and dissipates into the atmosphere. That's why it is recommended to open doors and windows if you suspect a leak. It does not accumulate on the ground, unlike propane and gasoline.
It does not ignite easily
Natural gas does ignite easily. For this to happen, a leak must spring in an enclosed space and the gas must mix with oxygen in the air at a concentration of 5 to 15%. The temperature must also be extremely high for natural gas to ignite (538 °Celsius) or there would have to be a flame or static electrical discharge caused by a socket.
Did you know?
To reach the end-user, natural gas travels through various pipes buried in the ground. In Quebec, more than 210,000 customers use natural gas every day, including a large number of schools, hospitals, businesses and large corporations.
Natural gas is one of the safest energy sources available. However, it's important to follow some basic rules when it comes to prevention, maintenance and appliance installation.
Get informed before digging
The land around your home or your company may be concealing underground infrastructures, such as electricity, telecommunications or natural gas networks. Before starting any work that calls for digging, such as installing a fence or a pool, make a request to Info-Excavation to locate any underground infrastructures. It’s free.
As with every other energy sources, the regular maintenance of natural gas appliances by certified professionals is essential. A well-calibrated, compliant appliance is completely safe, and will give you optimum performance and longer life.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless and colourless gas. It is produced in small quantities by gasoline engines and other appliances that burn fuel with only partial or incomplete combustion. However, a natural gas appliance that is well calibrated is just as safe as a standard-compliance electrical appliance.
In case of a leak
Leave the building immediately or move well away from the leak if you are already outdoors. Without delaying your exit, on your way out, you could open doors and windows to ensure maximum ventilation. Call 9-1-1. If this service is not available in your region, call 1 800 361-8003.
Important numbers to keep on hand
In case of an emergency
Leak or gas smell? Call 9-1-1. If this service is not available in your region, call 1 800 361-8003.
Énergir's distribution network is one of the most modern networks in North America. Our network surveillance operates 24/7, 365 days a year. Our control centre monitors the pressure at more than 126 reading points to ensure stability and to guarantee that the natural gas network is in good working order at all times.
The reliability of the distribution network
Did you know that Énergir:
Patrols its entire 11,000 km network every two years?
Checks its building connections every six years?
Inspects the connections to priority buildings every year?
Takes selective readings of mercaptan every month?
Responds to 100,000 requests for localization of natural gas pipes every year?
The design and construction of Énergir’s distribution network meets the most exacting standards of the Canadian gas industry.