Many buildings on campus use natural gas to provide heat and for laboratory work. In addition, underground natural gas lines run across campus. Natural gas does not have an odor, so a chemical that smells like rotten eggs is added to the gas. This chemical allows us to smell natural gas at levels well below explosive levels.
If a natural gas smell is noticed outside: Call the University Operator (dial "0" on campus) or the UNL Police at 402-472-2222 to report the situation. Provide your name and contact information and as much information as possible.
If a natural gas smell is noticed in a building, dial "0" for the University Operator and provide as much information as you can, such as:
- Your name, location, and contact information
- Location (s) of odors in the building
- A description of the nature of the odor (i.e., light/moderate/strong; static/increasing/dissipating, etc.)
- Symptoms, if any, that may be associated with the gas, such as light-headedness, nausea, etc.
- Known or suspected sources of the odor (i.e., laboratory valves, hot-water heaters, etc.)
Based on the information provided, the University Operator will dispatch the appropriate UNL response personnel. If determined necessary, the building will be evacuated.
In the event of an evacuation:
- Once outside, move away from any apparent source or at right angles to the prevailing wind. If wind direction is variable, try to move away from the source of the leak if known.
- Gather a safe distance from the building.
- If you have knowledge that may assist in evaluating the source of the leak, meet emergency responders as they arrive on-site.
- Do not return to the building until instructed by emergency personnel.