About Safe and Smart

At Safe & Smart with Buddy Blue Flame, you and your family will find lots of great information about energy, natural gas and natural gas safety along with activities, videos and games. There are also tips on simple things you can do to keep your home energy efficient. To get started, complete the Family Q&A.

For more natural gas safety tips visit

Safety Tips

Natural gas is a clean, safe fuel when used properly. Be sure to follow these safety rules:

rotten eggs Centerpoint Energy

If you smell something similar to rotten eggs and think you may have a natural gas leak, don’t hesitate – get out of the house immediately on foot and call CenterPoint Energy and 911. Don’t call from the house as a spark from the phone could set off the gas. The same is true for turning off the light switch, so leave those lights on and don’t drive your car as your engine can cause a spark.

Call 811 Centerpoint Energy

Typically natural gas lines that run to your house are buried underground, and may be close to the surface, so before you do any digging, including gardening, call 811 at least two working days in advance. CenterPoint Energy will send a representative to mark where your underground natural gas lines are. For more information on Call Before You Dig, visit

digging Centerpoint Energy

Know your colors! Click here to learn about the various colors used to mark underground pipes and utility lines.

gas burner Centerpoint Energy

Keep in mind that pilot lights and main burners on gas appliances should always produce a blue flame. If the flame is yellow or red, call a certified appliance technician for service as soon as possible. If your pilot light is substantially higher than normal, this may be an indication of excessive pressure, in which case you should call CenterPoint Energy.

water heater Centerpoint Energy

Many manufacturers recommend that you set your water heater temperature to 120°F (low or warm). Water heaters set at 140°F or higher pose a potential danger, especially to children and the elderly. It takes just five seconds to receive a third-degree burn from 140°F water. You should always feel the water before bathing or showering. Temperature-limiting valves are available. Check your owner's manual for information.

carbon monoxide detector Centerpoint Energy

Carbon monoxide is a gas that you cannot see, smell or taste, and it can make you sick. A carbon monoxide detector in your home can alert your family that this gas is present. Certain states have laws requiring carbon monoxide detectors. To learn more, visit:

gas meter Centerpoint Energy

During cold weather, ice can build up on or near gas meters causing potentially dangerous conditions and equipment malfunctions - See more at:

natural gas appliances Centerpoint Energy

Many natural gas appliances work even when the power is out. For example, most natural gas water heaters operate with a pilot light so they function even when the electricity doesn’t. By overriding the electric ignition on the surface burners with a match, you can also continue to operate your gas cooktop. Most furnaces won’t operate during a power outage because the entire heating system may require electricity. For information about natural gas generators, visit

Energy Efficiency

Natural gas is very plentiful, but it is important to always be energy efficient. Here are some simple ways you can make your natural gas last and save yourself some money in the process:

  • Always do full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine. This way your water heater doesn’t have to work overtime.
  • Speaking of that water heater, keep it adjusted to 120 degrees. The water will be hot enough to use, but will save you energy.
  • Take showers instead of baths whenever possible. Showers use 50% less hot water.
  • A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically adjust the the temperature in your home so you don’t waste energy when you’re away all day, but your home will be nice and toasty by the time you come home.
  • Dirty filters make heating equipment work harder. The filters in your heating system should be changed at the beginning of each heating season.
Full Dish Washer - CenterPoint


Everything we do depends on natural resources and our environment. Sustainability means living our lives in a way that protects those resources. Conserving water, recycling and reducing our energy use are behaviors we all should practice to ensure a sustainable future and a greener planet. CenterPoint Energy has many sustainability goals that will reduce carbon emissions, fight climate change and protect our natural resources. You can read about many of their initiatives by clicking this link:

solar pannels - CenterPoint