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Reporting gas leaks and incidents
Is it a gas leak or gas incident?
A gas leak is when gas escapes from a container, such as a pipe or cylinder, into an area where it shouldn't be. Gas has a strong smell added to it so that leaks can be easily detected and recognised. A gas leak can be very dangerous, so if you smell gas don't ignore it.
A gas incident is an event that may be the result of a gas leak. It may be a fire or an explosion that causes damage to property and injury to or death of a person.
Reporting gas leaks
If you smell gas, report the leak by calling the Gas Emergency and Leak Reporting Service on free call 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532). Lines are open 24 hours a day and the call taker will provide you with advice on what to do.
If you smell gas outdoors
If you're in a public place, report the leak immediately on 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532).
If you smell gas on your own property turn the gas off at the meter if it's safe to do so. If the smell stops, phone a licensed gas fitter to have your gas installation checked. If the smell doesn't stop, call 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532).
An intermittent smell of gas outside could also indicate that there is a leak. Other signs to look for if the gas pipe runs underground include bubbles on the surface of puddles of water or unexplained patches of dead grass or vegetation.
If you smell gas inside
Gas leaks in confined spaces can be very dangerous. Never look for a gas leak with a flame. If you detect a gas leak inside a property:
- Leave the property immediately, opening doors and windows and extinguishing any open flames as you go.
- Don't use a fan to assist ventilation.
- Don't plug in or unplug any electrical appliances or switch them on or off.
- Don't switch any lights on or off, use a telephone, or use a flashlight. Any of these could cause a spark which could start a gas fire.
- Don't smoke or light matches in or near the property.
- If it's safe to do so, and you have external gas and/or electricity meters, locate and turn off the gas and electricity supply to the property.
- If you're certain the leak is within your home, move to a safe area away from the smell of gas and phone a licensed gas fitter.
- Don't re-enter your home until it has been inspected by a licensed gas fitter and you're advised it's safe to do so.
Gas incidents on work sites should be reported immediately to Safework SA.
The Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) investigates all major gas incidents including gas fatalities, gas installation incidents and distribution network incidents where the network operator has been negligent. The OTR prepares reports for the coroner as required.
Incidents are recorded to help identify trends and implement preventative action. The OTR keeps records of all gas related incidents that have resulted in fatalities, injuries and property damage since 1997.
Gas incident statistics in South Australia are published in the OTR's annual reports.