Gas leak

If you discover a gas leak, act quickly.

Important phone numbers

Fire service
Phone: 111

Security
Phone: 966 (internal) or 0800 373 7550

Immediate actions

Specific gas leak procedures

Lecture bottles

If safe to do so, place bottle in fume hood. Otherwise evacuate the area immediately.

Flammable or toxic gas leak from cylinders larger than D size

Evacuate the area immediately.

Nitrogen gas

Nitrogen is an asphyxiant. DO NOT enter the room.

  • Alert everyone in the immediate area to the gas leak, and evacuate all non-essential personnel if necessary. Note: If the gas is flammable, do not set off the fire alarm.
  • Identify the gas (e.g. through the use of signs, labels or safety data sheets) and note any safety requirements.
  • Stop the source (close cylinder valves, activate shut-off valves or emergency stops).
  • Control ignition sources. Turn off electrical and gas-fired equipment.
  • Ventilate the area if safe to do so. Open windows and doors, activate intrinsically safe gas ventilation equipment.
  • Notify supervisors and Security on 966 (0800 373 7550 from a mobile phone).
  • If the leak poses a threat to people or the environment:
    • Evacuate the building. 
    • Notify the Fire Service on 111 and state the following:
      • Your name
      • Exact location of leak
      • Size of leak if known (e.g. BBQ gas bottle, 45kg gas bottle, reticulated gas etc.)
  • Assign a person to meet the Fire Service/inform the building warden.
  • Evacuate the building immediately, avoiding the area of contamination as best you can.
  • Assemble upwind of the gas leak.
  • Comply with the Fire Service’s instructions.
  • Do not re-enter building/area until you receive the 'all clear' from the building warden or Fire Service.

Staff: Post-leak actions

As a staff member you have a number of responsibilities. 

  • Ensure your wellbeing. 
  • Help others with decontamination including clothing. Monitor for after-effects. Administer/obtain medical care if required.
  • Ensure ventilation is complete.
  • Restock and review:
    • The initial discoverer is to raise an incident report using the University’s accident/incident reporting system.
    • Assess reasons for incident and implement corrective response as soon as practicable.
    • Retain a copy of the fire crew’s incident report (if the Fire Service was called).