• Natural Gas Safety

  • Delmarva Power serves more than 126,000 homes and businesses in the regulated natural gas market in New Castle County, Delaware. An ongoing commitment to meeting the energy needs of our customers has resulted in a solid history of providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy.

    Report a Gas Leak

    Call (302) 454-0317 (New Castle County Only)

    Safety Tips

    Natural gas is a safe, clean, efficient fuel for home or business use. The following recommendations will assist you in using natural gas appliances safely and economically. Your local natural gas or propane provider may recommend additional safety precautions.

    If You Smell Gas, Take action.

    Because natural gas is colorless and odorless, a harmless but strong-smelling ingredient called "mercaptan" has been added to draw attention to any leak that might occur. If you smell this strong odor in your home or business, or you have other reason to suspect a natural gas leak, take action right away:

    • Immediately extinguish all open flames, such as candles, cigarettes, kerosene lamps and heaters 
    • Alert everyone in the area of the potential danger and evacuate the area 
    • Do not touch any light switches, do not use the phone, and do not use a flashlight as you leave. Avoid any actions that could cause a spark 
    • Move a safe distance away from the area and call your natural gas delivery company, or call 911 to report the location of the natural gas odor. (Our natural gas customers should call 302-454-0317) 
    • Stay away from the area until trained professionals arrive to make it safe 
    • Never try to fix a leaking natural gas pipeline or extinguish a natural gas fire

    Winter Safety Tips

    Since many people spend more time indoors during winter, we urge customers to use caution. For a safe and warm winter, please:

    • Keep the area around your heater and water heater open, clear and free from stored items (such as boxes, books, flammable liquids, containers, etc.)
    • Keep your chimney and flue clean and clear from debris (such as leaves or mortar) because a blocked chimney or flue on a natural gas furnace can emit deadly carbon monoxide buildup in your home
    • Schedule an annual chimney cleaning by a professional technician
    • Keep natural gas equipment properly ventilated to ensure safe operation
    • be sure outside vents from direct-vent appliances (such as dryers and heaters) are free from snow, ice and rubble
    • Make sure your gas meter is free from snow and ice by gently clearing snow using a broom or large brush
    • Keep shoveled and plowed snow piles far away from your gas meter and never use a shovel or sharp tool to chip ice away – this can cause damage or break the meter
    • Repair gutters and downspouts that drip water onto your meter 

    If your meter is encased in ice and you experience problems with your gas service, or if you smell gas - please call our gas emergency number (302) 454-0317 immediately.

    Call Before You Dig

    State law requires you to call a utility locating service, Miss Utility at 811, before you start digging - these services are free. Save yourself time, trouble, injury and perhaps even a fine - call before you dig. 

    Annual Appliance Check-Ups

    A qualified contractor should inspect your natural gas appliances and piping each year. Vent inspection is also necessary to ensure that any carbon monoxide is vented outside your home or business. These inspections can identify potential problems and ensure the safety of your family and employees.

    Flexible Gas Connectors

    Gas connectors need to be inspected regularly, and replaced as needed. Certain kinds of flexible connectors manufactured between 1970 and 1980 have shown a history of failing over time and need to be replaced prior to failure. 

    Only a qualified professional should check your connector and replace it if needed. Don’t try to do this yourself, because a brittle connector could fail with minimal movement. Replacements should be completed only after the gas supply is turned off by a qualified professional, who will also be able to ensure that all gas appliances are operable once the gas supply is turned back on.

    After disconnecting any gas appliances, the gas connector to the disconnected appliance should always be removed and the fuel line should be plugged or capped. It’s a good idea to replace approved flexible connectors once every ten years.

    Excess Flow Valves

    An excess flow valve (EFV) is a device that can reduce the risk of a natural gas leak in the event of damage to the outside service line. EFVs are able to automatically reduce unplanned, excessive gas flows in the event of a broken gas line, often the result of excavation damage. 

    However, EFV’s can only shut off the excessive gas flow if the damage occurs between the gas main and the customer’s regulator/meter installation.  An EFV cannot address gas leaks or issues with internal customer gas piping and/or appliances.  

    As a result of regulations enacted by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Delmarva Power has been installing EFV’s on the gas service lines of certain single family residences – either when a new service line is installed or when an existing service line is replaced.  With certain exceptions, customers whose natural gas load does not exceed a certain size have the right to request an EFV installation on their existing natural gas service line. 

    Delmarva Power will install an EFV on eligible existing natural gas service lines, upon request. However, the cost responsibility for the installation is still being decided by the Delaware Public Service Commission.  Please revisit this web site for further updates. 

    For more information about EFVs, or to see if you qualify to have an EFV installed, contact our Gas Delivery New Business team at 302-429-3118.

    Natural Gas Safety Brochures

    Stay Safe Around Natural Gas

    Stay Safe Around Natural Gas (Spanish)

    Working Safely Near Gas Facilities

    Working Safely Near Gas Facilities (Spanish)

    Important Safety Information for Delmarva Power Natural Gas Customers

    Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig

    Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig (Spanish)

    Sewer Lateral 

    Scratch and Sniff