How to stay safe from a gas leak explosion

After a gas leak and deadly explosion at a Lancaster County house over the weekend, we want to make sure you know what to look and smell for in your own home.

There are three important things to do immediately if you suspect a gas leak:
1) Get everyone, including pets, out of the house.
2) Move to a safe location, far from the home.
3) Call UGI immediately at this number: (800) 652-0550

“Leave the doors open. Do not turn on any lights, phones, things like that,” UGI spokesman Joseph Swope said.

Neighbors who smelled gas in a Manor Township community did exactly what’s expected Sunday afternoon. They immediately called UGI to investigate.

“It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night,” Swope said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday. We will come out. We will check it to make sure it’s safe.”

Swope was still on the scene Monday where a UGI employee died looking for a leak.

“There’s an odor added to natural gas called mercaptan, which is very strong like sulfur or rotten eggs,” Swope said.

He says you’ll recognize it, but if that worries you, home improvement stores carry gas leak alarms.

“Plug them in close by to any appliance that is powered by gas,” said Ray Beekler at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Harrisburg.

There are also handheld detectors for pointed worries. We called around and found tools at Home Depot as well.

“Sixty dollars is pretty inexpensive for peace of mind to know your house is safe,” Beekler said, talking about the plug-in alarm.

The block of debris leftover from this weekend’s explosion speaks for itself.

“You should stay at a safe distance until the area is clear and the problem has been addressed,” Swope said.

UGI says there is no cost involved with calling them to report a suspected gas leak.

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