Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is composed almost entirely of methane. It was formed deep in the Earth from plants and animals that were buried by mud and sand. Through millions of years, the mud and sand hardened into rock. Pressure from the rock squeezed the organic matter into fossil fuels like natural gas, coal, and oil.
Natural gas is one of the safest and most reliable fuels available. However, it's important that everyone learn to safely operate and maintain your natural gas appliances. It's easy if you follow these guidelines:
- When lighting a burner or oven with no pilot light, always light the match first, place it at the burner, and then turn the range knob.
- If a burner flame goes out, shut off the range knob, wait for the gas to dissipate, then relight the burner.
- Keep burners and range top clean.
- Keep the area around your appliances and meter free of all combustible materials. Keep air ducts clear.
- Inspect your furnace and water heater chimneys for loose- fitting joints.
- Read and understand all of the warning labels on your natural gas appliances.
- Install smoke alarms on each level of your house, including the basement. Replace batteries each year.
- Keep an active Class ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Check the expiration date.
- You can also use baking soda to extinguish a grease fire. Small fires can be smothered with a wet towel or large pot cover.
- Always use flammable liquids in open, well-ventilated areas and away from any ignition source.
- Don't fill your lawn mower with gasoline near a natural gas appliance.
- Store flammable liquids and solvent-soaked rags away from ignition sources and children's reach.
- Create a plan for getting out of your house in case of fire or other emergency.
CALL BEFORE YOU DIG: For residential and commercial projects, Washington and Oregon laws require persons doing any type of excavation to Call Before You Dig. The law covers both public and private property. Excavating includes any movement of rocks, soil, or other material on or below ground. You must call at least two business days before you dig. After calling, you must wait two business days before digging so that utility employees have time to complete your request. For more information, go to the Call Before You Dig 811 website.
(Information provided courtesy of the Cascade Natural Gas Company © 2014)