Peoria natural gas leak calls spike in July

Gas leak
Gas leak(MGN)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 6:09 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - It’s been a busier than average month for Peoria firefighters responding to natural gas leaks.

The Peoria Fire Department has responded to 13 calls involving gas leaks in just the past two weeks. But Interim Chief Shawn Sollberger says many of them were preventable, as more people dig in their yards for Spring and Summer projects.

“Calling JULIE before you do any type of digging around your home, and that’s extremely important,” Sollberger said. “Sometimes it’s a box that gets missed.”

Ameren says other ways to avoid leaks include keeping house vents unobstructed and getting regular inspections. In addition, Ameren advises customers replace gas alarm batteries regularly.

Despite the hot Summer weather, Sollberger says there’s not a specific time of the year when leaks are more common. There are not specific patterns to call spikes, like the one the department is seeing this July. He says to act fast if you do smell a leak at home.

“This can happen in the blink of an eye, and so if you don’t mitigate that gas emergency in that moment, you can have dire consequences,” Sollberger said.

“Rotten egg smell. If you smell that in your house, what we tell people to do is stop what you are doing, go to a a safe spot outside, and call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000,” Ameren Illinois spokesperson Brian Bretsch said.

If you don’t remember that number, you can also dial 911 during a gas emergency, and dispatchers will assist. For more tips on how to avoid gas leaks, click here.

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