KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Would you know what to do if you ever have a gas leak at your home? It can often be hard to tell when you have a natural gas leak, due to it not having a smell. To combat this many utilities, including the Knoxville Utilities Board, add a smell to the gas.

KUB officials said the smell you should watch out for is similar to rotten eggs. They add that sometimes you can see or hear the leak from the pressure that is being released. Before winter really gets underway, they recommend having a safety inspection, which is free of charge.

“We want to be able to provide a safe reliable resource to our customers and also the public so if you do suspect you have a natural gas leak we want you to call any time of the night any time of the day does not matter we will respond,” said Thomas McCutcheon, team lead for Natural Gas Compliance and maintenance programs.

On their website, KUB encourages people to remember the three R’s: Recognize, react, and KUB responds. You can recognize natural gas leaks by sound, smell, or dead vegetation. React by leaving the area immediately and calling KUB at 865-524-2911. KUB will respond to investigate the natural gas leak and provide further guidance. There is someone on staff who is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

“If you do suspect that you have a natural gas leak, we want you to call any time of the night, anytime during the day. It does not matter, we will respond” said McCutcheon.

KUB also offers the following tips if you suspect a natural gas leak:


  • Leave the area (inside or outside) immediately, and tell others to leave, too.
  • Go to a safe location away from any signs of a leak.
  • Call KUB at 865-524-2911 right away. We will send a trained technician to perform a free natural gas leak inspection.


  • Don’t do any of the following things that could cause a spark, igniting the gas
  • Don’t switch lights or appliances on or off.
  • Don’t use any telephone—including cordless or cellular phones.
  • Don’t use any electrical devices, including appliances, doorbells, and garage door openers.
  • Don’t smoke or use matches or lighters.
  • Don’t start or stop a nearby vehicle or machinery.
  • Don’t attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off.
  • Don’t re-enter the building or return to the area until KUB tells you it is safe to do so. Remember: Your personal safety is top priority.

McCutcheon also offered a suggestion on devices that can help people detect a leak.

“We recommend a carbon monoxide meter inside your property, that will definitely once it alarms. You’ll call 911 and call KUB at the number and we can come out and assess the area. Our technicians use highly calibrated equipment that will be able to detect natural gas,” said McCutcheon.