Natural gas is a major product in Louisiana for both industries and residences.  But knowing what to do in the event of an accident is extremely important.

"Staying cognizant of your surroundings. if you smell an odor and it smells like natural gas, call your gas provider," explained Ragan Dickens, North Louisiana Director of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.  "If you cant get a hold of your gas provider, and you truly smell the natural gas, it okay to contact authorities."

Most people interact with natural gas through their home utility, using it to heat homes, hot water, and to cook with.

"If you have a new home, a lot of the new homes have new pipes you don't have to worry about the issues like some of the later homes built in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  It's always a good idea to get it checked out."

In the past month or so, there have been several chemical and gas explosions across Louisiana that got a lot of local and some national media attention.  Have these industries gotten more dangerous?

"Due to 24 hour cable media and internet, we hear about everyone that occurs around the country," noted Dickens.  He says we have become more cognizant of when these issues come up.

If you are a residential customer and have questions about your natural gas, contact your gas provider.  However, if you are an industry, it is best to consult state regulators.