Suspicious Odors, Gas or Chemical Fumes

Many buildings on campus use natural gas in laboratories and for building climate control. Natural gas is odorless, so a chemical (mercaptan, which smells like rotten eggs) is added to help detect a leak far in advance of explosive levels.

What to do if you smell natural gas

  • Alert those around you, then evacuate the building using the nearest available exit, if possible. If you are unable to evacuate, go to the designated Area of Rescue Assistance or nearest stairwell.
  • ­Go to the Evacuation Assembly Area or move outside to at least 1,000 feet from the building.
  • ­Call the UIC Police Department at (312) 355-5555 or 911.
  • ­Contact the University Health Service if you experience any symptoms related to the odor such as dizziness or headaches: 835 South Wolcott Avenue, Room E-144, Chicago, IL 60612, Phone: (312) 996-7420.
  • ­DO NOT try to find the leak yourself.
  • ­DO NOT reenter the building until authorized emergency personnel give the “all clear” signal.

Note: Pulling the ­fire alarm will not add to the ­ re/explosive risk already present by static electricity and electrical and mechanical equipment in the building. Temper this with a little common sense.