NW Natural provides natural gas service to approximately 2.5 million people in more than 140 communities through more than 795,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington, with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. Our customers depend on us to deliver the essential services they need to heat their homes, cook their meals, and keep their businesses running. As with any utility, safety awareness is key. Find everything you need to know about carbon monoxide, operating select natural gas appliances in a power outage, meter safety, appliance and equipment maintenance and more.
How to cook safely with natural gas
- Keep paper towels, curtains, clothing and electric cords away from range burners.
- Keep burners and range tops clean and free of grease to prevent fire hazards.
- If a flame on a burner goes out, shut it off, wait, then re-light.
- Keep burners off when not in use.
- Keep area clear of flammable products and items that could interfere with airflow.
- Make sure to have good kitchen ventilation. Use a range hood or exhaust fan that vents to the outside. If the power goes out, remember to open a window when cooking to help with ventilation if your hood range isn’t working.
- If the power goes out, you can light many natural gas stovetops with a utility lighter to cook meals and boil water before drinking.
- Keep grills 10 feet away from other objects.
- Keep gas grills outside. Indoors, they’re a fire hazard.
- Check the connection between the propane tank or natural gas line to be sure it's working properly and not leaking.
Observing natural gas fireplace safely
- Use a certified contractor to install a fireplace.
- Be cautious around a gas fireplace exterior—it can get hot.
- Follow recommended clearance specs.
- Keep the fireplace damper open.
- If the power goes out, you can light many natural gas fireplaces with a battery backup.
What to know about sewer safety
A sewer backup is usually an easy fix—unless your natural gas line crosses with your sewer pipe. Sewer-clearing equipment can damage the gas line and release natural gas into your sewer system and your home.
Find out if your natural gas and sewer lines are crossed.
Scope the sewer line with a video camera, or ask your plumber to do it.
We'll repair crossed lines at no cost to you.
We inspect for crossed sewer and natural gas lines regularly. A door hanger notice indicates when we're in your neighborhood. If we find a problem, we'll repair the sewer line and reroute the gas line at no cost to you. Access to your property might be necessary.
If you suspect your gas line and sewer line are crossed, just call us at 800-882-3377.
Proper appliance ventilation
- Follow state codes. They require "fuel burning appliances be vented to the outside in accordance with their listing and label, and manufacturers' installation instructions, unless listed and labeled for unvented use."
- Operate your appliance in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.
- Vent gas and electric dryers to the outside to prevent moisture and lint accumulations.
- Check your vent or chimney to ensure it's tightly sealed, clean and in good repair to ensure proper venting.
- Report any combustion odor to NW Natural and a service technician will investigate immediately.
Pilot light safety
How to care for pilot lights
Know about shutoff valves.
- Most new natural gas appliances (with the exception of water heaters) have electronic ignition and automatic shutoff valves to prevent the main burner from activating if the pilot is not lit.
- On older natural gas appliances and most gas water heaters, pilot lights may burn continuously and may not feature automatic shutoff valves.
What to do if the pilot light goes out.
- Be aware that newer appliances will safely shut off.
- Schedule a time for us to come out so we can conduct a thorough examination and relight the appliance. Call us at 800-422-4012.
Natural gas pipe safety
How to preserve natural gas piping
The gas piping that links your NW Natural meter to your appliance belongs to you and is your responsibility. Follow these tips to keep it safe:
- Ensure pipe installation, testing and maintenance is in accordance with applicable state and local codes.
- Watch for corrosion.
- Hire a qualified heating contractor, plumber or appliance installer to confirm piping is up to code.
- Call us immediately if you find oil or liquids in your natural gas meter or other equipment. Hazardous trace materials might cause a pressure issue, blockage or other problem.
If your home also has corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST), hire a contractor to ensure it’s properly installed so it won’t get damaged in lightning strikes.
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