Monday, February 4, 2013


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NYSEG has ‘scratch and sniff’ safety alert

ROCHESTER  – New York State Electric and Gas has taken “scratch and sniff” marketing to a new level. For years, perfume companies have included that in their advertising, but now the power company is including it in their billing.

In their February bills, NYSEG customers will receive an insert with a whiff of what natural gas smells like. “We put a special odorant in natural gas so that our customers can easily detect any leaks,” said NYSEG President Mark Lynch. “Whenever anyone smells natural gas at their home or business, they should get out and call their utility or 911 from a neighbor’s phone.” NYSEG’s natural gas emergency number is 1-800-572-1121.

The bill insert explains that people can use sight and sound, as well as smell, to detect natural gas leaks.

National gas is naturally odorless so for safety purposes, a distinctive odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added.

There may also be a white cloud, mist, fog or bubbles in standing water or blowing dust, or vegetation may appear to be dead of dying for no apparent reason because of a natural gas leak.  A leak may produce an unusual noise like roaring, hissing or whistling.