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Using gas appliances safely

Special rules apply
Keep these safety guidelines in mind when using your gas-consuming products - and find out the difference between a good flame and a bad flame.
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As with any type of energy, the key to safety is common sense, but there are a few special rules to keep in mind around natural gas appliances:

Gas stoveThe right way:

  • DO leave at least 18 inches of clearance around your gas furnace and water heater, and at least one inch around gas stoves and clothes dryers.
  • DO keep paints, papers, aerosol sprays and other flammables away from gas appliances.
  • DO make sure the vent hood, pipes and flues aren't blocked, cracked or corroded.
  • DO have gas appliances professionally installed. This will ensure that all the connections are secure, all vent pipes and flues are clean and undamaged, and that the appliance is adjusted properly.

The wrong way:

  • DON'T store or stack boxes, laundry or other materials around the base of a gas appliance.
  • DON'T let kids play on or around gas equipment, including meters and pipes.
  • DON'T wear long sleeves around a gas stove, and keep towels and potholders away from the open flame.
  • DON’T try to use a gas oven or range to heat a room - the appliance will deplete oxygen from the air, causing asphyxiation or deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

Good flame vs. bad flame

Natural gas flameOne quick way to tell if a natural gas appliance is getting enough oxygen and is adjusted properly is to check the color of the flame on the pilot light.

A pilot or burner flame light should be about 90 percent blue. A yellow flame indicates the appliance isn't working right and could be giving off harmful fumes - have it checked by a service technician right away.

Keep in mind that not all problems with gas appliances will have the symptom of a yellow pilot light - and not all pilot lights are visible. Look for excessive ash or soot around a pilot light opening or air ducts, lengthy "warm-up" times and strange noises or odors.

     


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If you are vision-impaired or have some other disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to shopping or ordering on or using the benefits of our website, please contact Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).