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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Smell Rotten Eggs?


April 9, 2012 -- During the month of April, Portland Fire & Rescue is partnering with NW Natural Gas to bring citizens information on how to make a safe fuel even safer.

Video courtesy of NW Natural

Visit NW Natural online at

Do You Detect a Rotten Egg or Sulfur Odor?
In its normal state, natural gas is odorless. For easy detection, NW Natural injects an odorant called mercaptan into the gas before it is inserted into the distribution system. Mercaptan gives off a foul smell, reminiscent of rotten eggs or sulfur. Any odor of natural gas inside your home or business may indicate a leak. If you SMELL rotten eggs, leave the area or GO and LET US KNOW by calling 9-1-1.

If You Detect a Natural Gas Leak

  • Smell. Go. Let us Know.
  • Do not use your telephone. This includes cellular phones and all types of portable communication and electronic devices that have a battery. These can spark and create a source of ignition.
  • Do not light matches or create any other source of ignition.
  • Do not operate ANY electrical switch, including lights, on or off. This could create a spark.
  • Open windows and doors.
  • Evacuate everyone from the area.
  • Call 9-1-1 (from a phone NOT INSIDE the building with the leak).

Learn more by visiting the NW Natural Gas website at


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