Safety Around Utilities

Use of electricity and gas are important parts of our daily lives and the dangers associated with these utilities must be respected.

If you are working near electricity, you might need an Electric Proximity Safety Plan.
Do I need to submit a plan?

Natural gas

Natural Gas is used to heat our homes by powering furnaces, fireplaces and water heaters. It also powers stoves, clothes dryers and barbeques. A pungent, rotten egg smell is your indication of a natural gas leak. Ensure you take the necessary steps to report a natural gas leak.

What is that smell?
Could it be a natural gas leak? Natural gas is colorless, odorless and non-toxic. A harmless chemical is added for safety reasons and for quick detection of any leaks. This chemical (mercaptan) has a pungent, rotten egg or sulphur smell.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will not detect a gas leak, but your nose can.

If you detect a gas leak:

Inside your home

  • Evacuate the premises
  • Do not do anything that could create a spark such as switch on a light
  • Do not use your cell phone until you are away from the house
  • Call 9-1-1 or the 24-hour gas distribution emergency line at 403-529-8191


  • Call 9-1-1 or the 24-hour gas distribution emergency line at 403-529-8191
  • Keep everyone away from the area
  • Do not smoke or light any flames
Carbon monoxide
Often referred to as the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide (CO) is colorless, odorless, and toxic.

Carbon monoxide can be produced from a number of sources such as exhaust from a car or from a natural gas fired furnace that is not functioning properly or appropriately ventilated.

Exposure to the gas can cause serious illness or death. When properly installed, maintained and vented, any carbon monoxide produced by appliances will be vented outside the home.

Equipment and appliances not operating or vented properly can include:

  • Furnace
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Dryer
  • Range
  • Fireplace

Exhaust from the following can also contribute to carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Gas and diesel vehicles
  • Gas powered machines
  • Wood burning fireplaces

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

  • Headache and dizziness
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Watering and burning of the eyes
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Nausea and vomiting

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home:

  • Have your appliances or equipment checked regularly by a qualified technician as per the manufacturer's specifications.
  • Install and regularly test your carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Ensure your outdoor exhaust/vent outlets and chimneys are kept clear of ice, snow, bird's nests or other potential obstructions so that carbon monoxide emitted by these appliances do not build up in your home.
Hazard Hamlet
Hazard Hamlet is an in-school safety program that has been operating in Medicine Hat since the early 1980s. Students receive a classroom demonstration on electrical safety by City of Medicine Hat electrical workers. Contact us to book your demonstration.


The City of Medicine Hat provides this information for informational purposes only. The user or viewer of the information assumes all risk for the use of this site.