Natural Gas Leak

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 UIC Police Department at 312-355-5555 (or 5-5555 from a campus phone) or the Chicago Police Department at 911 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, alert others in the immediate area to leave the building and call UICPD at 312-355-5555 (or 5-5555 from a campus phone) or the CPD at 911 and be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Location/building name/address of the odor
  • 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 will dispatch the appropriate incident response personnel. If determined necessary, the building will be evacuated.

In the event of an evacuation, follow the university's evacuation procedures:

  • 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. Go to your designated assembly area or where directed by the responders on the scene.
  • 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.