University Safety and Assurances

Emergency Response Gas Leak

Link to Quick Reference: Emergency Response to Gas Leak


Natural gas is colorless, non-toxic and odorless, although an odorant is added as the gas is fed into the distribution system. Known as mercaptan, this odorant is an important safety measure because it provides a distinct smell (much like the smell of rotten eggs) in the event of a gas leak. Natural gas is lighter than air and rapidly dissipates into the air when it is released. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, cease all operations. Take appropriate actions to ensure your personal safety. Gas Jet

  • If gas smell is on the inside and windows can be easily opened, open to ventilate the area.
  • Leave the area at once and pull the nearest fire alarm to initiate evacuation of the building.
  • From any hard-wired campus phone dial 9-911.
  • From a cell phone dial 229-9911. Your call will be connected to the UWM Police Department Dispatcher.
  • From a pay phone (no coin is needed) dial 911.
  • Give your name and the exact location of the leak (room, floor, etc.) as well as any other information you think would be useful. Be sure to stay on the phone until released by the emergency operator.
  • If the situation warrants, request that the fire department be called.
  • Evacuate the building by the nearest exit. Report to the building entrance to inform emergency response personnel of the situation.
  • Building Chairs and/or their designees will check occupied areas of their buildings and notify occupants that they must immediately evacuate the building by means of the nearest exit. Exit quickly and calmly by way of the nearest exit to a safe distance from the building. Leave sidewalks and roadways free for emergency responders.
  • Escort persons unable to negotiate stairs to area near emergency exit staircase. After the emergency exit is clear of traffic, move them onto the landing of the emergency stairwell. Do not attempt to move them down the stairs. A staff person should go to the building entrance to inform arriving emergency personnel where any such persons are waiting.
  • Do not reenter the building until authorized to do so by University Police or the Milwaukee Fire Department.