Natural gas is the Bridging Fuel for Barbados on the pathway towards cleaner energy and national energy resilience. It is used worldwide for heating, cooling, production of electricity and other applications.
Smell: There is an odorant added to natural gas which
creates a smell similar to sulfur or rotten eggs.
Sight: There may be a natural gas escape if you notice:
vapour and frosting on the ground
a distinct area with dead or dying vegetation
blowing dirt or dust from a ground hole
flames escaping from the ground or burning above ground if gas is ignited.
Sound: There may be a natural gas escape if you hear a sound that ranges from a slight hissing to a roaring.
What do you do if there is a gas leak?
If you think you have identified a gas leak follow these instructions:
Find the shut-off valve, which is located either outside of your kitchen, or behind the stove/appliance. The gas is off when the valve handle is forming a “T” with the gas pipe.
Eliminate any source of ignition. Do not smoke. Do not use any devices that might create a spark such as light switches, phones, flashlights or electric appliances, including computers.
Ventilate the building – open doors and windows.
If you continue to detect a strong smell of gas, hear or see gas escaping:
Immediately evacuate the house or building and call the National Petroleum Corporation emergency number at 430-4099 and the Fire Department at 311.
DO NOT cause an open flame or use anything that has the potential to create a spark, such as a telephone (cell or landline), flashlight, motor vehicle, doorbells, electrical switches etc.
DO NOT call your neighbours if you are notifying them. Hand knock on their doors.
DO NOT do anything that might ignite the leaking gas, including starting an engine or driving a vehicle, lighting a match or even switching on or off a light.
DO NOT come in direct contact with escaping gas.
DO NOT drive into a leak if leaving an area.
DO NOT attempt to operate any pipeline valves.
DO NOT attempt to extinguish any natural gas pipeline fire.
Protecting your natural gas meter and piping
To ensure that your gas meter and piping continues to work safely and accurately, protect it from damage.
Never attach electrical grounding wires to gas piping.
Do not attach anything to your meter or gas piping.
Do not lean anything against the meter or gas piping.
Do not enclose the meter in any structure.
Do not allow shrubs, trees or other landscaping material to grow near the meter.
Call NPC before you dig around gas piping for any reason.
Dig by hand when working around the meter and gas piping.
Do not stand on/or place anything heavy on the meter or gas
Please note that if you damage the meter or piping you may be responsible for the cost of repairs.
Tips For Natural Gas Appliances
For your safety, have your appliances regularly maintained and know the common warning signs or problems. Please pay attention to the appliance Safety Tips below:
If your pilot light is out or will not stay on, contact NPC for advice.
Gas appliances have a clear, steady blue flame. Noticing small, occasional amounts of yellow and orange flames are normal. If you notice flames of any other colour contact NPC for advice.
Never use a gas oven or cook top as a space heater.
Never try to repair or install a gas appliance yourself. Contact NPC for guidance.
Water can damage the internal safety mechanism in gas controls of an appliance. If you suspect water damage, contact NPC so that a qualified natural gas technician can replace them immediately.
Gas appliance connectors (flex hoses) should be checked by a qualified natural gas technician. They can be hazardous due to deterioration, excessive movement, bending or corrosion.
Keep the space around all gas appliances clear of build-up, rags, newspapers and other debris.
Keep appliances and oven burners clean. Never line the oven completely with foil.
Never use or store combustibles such as gasoline, aerosol cans, paints, solvents, household cleaners, pool chemicals or similar products near any fuel burning equipment.
Be aware of where gas (and other utility) lines are buried, especially when working in your yard.
GAS GENERATORS SHOULD NOT BE PLACED AND USED INSIDE THE HOME. Contact NPC so that a qualified natural gas technician can advise on appropriate placement for natural gas generators outside the property.
Follow the recommendations below to be prepared in the case of an emergency:
Familiarize yourself with the Evacuation Plan for your area.
Familiarize yourself with the location of the Evacuation Plan's Muster Point.
Know how to recognize the signs of a potential gas leak and how to respond.
Maintain a sense of vigilance in identifying risks to nearby gas pipelines to help prevent emergencies.
Report suspected gas leaks or any other suspected risks to NPC to help prevent emergencies.
Hurricane Safety Tips
Before the storm:
Listen carefully to all bulletins to keep track of the storm.
Prepare your Hurricane Emergency Kit
Plan your evacuation route to your nearest emergency shelter.
During the storm:
Your Natural Gas service will continue to be available during the storm, providing that there is no safety risk.
If you smell and or hear a possible gas leak during the storm, shut off the valve and call the National Petroleum Corporation.
When the all clear has been issued, we will visit to rectify the situation.
If there is severe lightning consider unplugging your natural gas appliances to avoid electrical damage.
After the storm:
If you experience any problems restarting or re-lighting your equipment/appliances call the National Petroleum Corporation for assistance.
Check for signs of discolored vegetation, blowing dirt or continued bubbling water in the area of a buried gas line.
Contact the NPC if you are concerned about a possible leak.