Natural Gas Incident Response Summary

Follow these important guidelines when responding to a natural gas leak, fire or explosion.


  • Keep the local gas utility informed of any developments through your dispatcher.
  • Consult with representatives of Dominion Energy or the local pipeline operator, and/or the local gas utility, upon your arrival at the incident scene.
  • Evacuate per the DOT Emergency Response Guide.
  • Barricade or rope off the area, rerouting pedestrians and traffic if necessary.
  • If there is a strong gas odor or your monitoring equipment detects natural gas nearing or exceeding concentrations of 5 percent, evacuate buildings and bystanders.
  • Instruct those in the area and building occupants not to turn any electrical equipment on or off. This includes lights, appliances, motors, circuit breakers and any battery-powered devices.
  • Check other buildings in the surrounding area for the presence of gas. Call your dispatcher if the situation warrants a discontinuation of electric service to a building.


  • Don’t enter buildings without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and positive pressure SCBA.
  • Don’t try to extinguish burning gas.
  • Don’t operate any gas valves, other than the aboveground shutoff valve before the service meter, or appliance supply line shutoff valves.
  • Don’t open any gas valve that has been shut off.
  • Don’t park vehicles nearby or leave engines running if a street leak is suspected.
  • Don’t park in front of buildings where a gas leak is suspected.
  • Don’t park directly over manhole covers or near storm sewer grates.
  • Don’t ventilate a building without first coordinating with local gas utility personnel and verifying gas has been shut off and ignition sources have been eliminated.