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What stinks? It might be your new scratch-and-sniff utility bill

John Hander, supervisor of a Gas First Response Team from Puget Sound Energy, sprays a soap solution on the joint where a supply pipe connects to the gas meter of a home in Tehaleh, February 10, 2017. If bubbles are continuously produced afterward, that reveals a leak. Puget Sound Energy is including scratch-and-sniff brochures with bills in an effort to help customers identify natural gas leaks.
John Hander, supervisor of a Gas First Response Team from Puget Sound Energy, sprays a soap solution on the joint where a supply pipe connects to the gas meter of a home in Tehaleh, February 10, 2017. If bubbles are continuously produced afterward, that reveals a leak. Puget Sound Energy is including scratch-and-sniff brochures with bills in an effort to help customers identify natural gas leaks. Staff file

Energy costs tend increase in the fall, but that’s not the only thing likely to stink about your next Puget Sound Energy bill.

PSE is including scratch-and-sniff brochures with bills in an effort to help customers identify natural gas leaks. When scratched, the pamphlet produced a smell similar to rotten eggs Utility companies add the sulfur smell to the natural gas, which is odorless and colorless.

“Every family needs to know that ‘rotten egg’ odor of natural gas so they can recognize, react and report a gas leak around their home or elsewhere,” said Andy Wappler, PSE spokesman. “Safety comes first, and having your family know what to do in the event of a natural gas leak is our top priority.”

The pamphlet also includes other tips for recognizing and responding to gas leaks.

If you suspect a natural gas leak, the company suggests:

  • Avoid turning on any electric switches, appliances or switching lights.
  • Leave the area immediately. If you’re indoors, evacuate the building.
  • Call your utility company or 911.
  • Do not smoke, light a match, or do anything that might create a spark.

Craig Hill: 253-597-8497, @AdventureGuys

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