Ameren offers a look into gas leak response in Decatur

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Smell gas ... leave fast. That is Ameren Illinois' motto. 

On Wednesday, Ameren offered local members of the media a glimpse into gas leak response protocol. Safety is a crew's first priority.

Gina Taylor, public awareness supervisor, says if the house has a strong smell, it's best to get out as soon as possible.

"We actually don't want them calling us from inside the home," Taylor says. "If there is a strong reading at the front door, he's going to do the emergency plan and get everyone out of the home." 

Workers then try to identify where the gas leak is coming from. They inspect pipes, the furnace and the water heater to make sure everything is venting and working properly.

If  someone smells gas, Ameren crews advise against turning on light switches, using anything electronic and even lighting candles. 

Natural gas is colorless and orderless, but Ameren puts in a special odorant to make gas easier to detect.

"We say natural gas smells like rotten eggs, it's a stinky smell," Taylor says.

Ameren's gas leak inspections are free, and their usual response time is 22 minutes. 

Crews are available to respond at any time of the day and seven days a week. 

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