What's that smell? Millions of stinky bills to invade homes

BELLEVUE, Wash. - More than 1.5 million homes and businesses will be receiving energy bills that stink throughout the month of September and October.

Puget Sound Energy is reminding customers what natural gas leaks smells like by sending scratch and sniff pamphlets with bills in the mail.

Odorless and colorless, natural gas leaks can spark deadly explosions if not promptly identified.

To help detect leaks, PSE and other natural utilities add an odorant called mercaptan to the gas. Most people akin the smell to rotten eggs, but there's other signs of gas leaks like hissing sounds, blowing dirt of bubbles in a puddle that can indicate a possible leak.

The pamphlet includes precautionary steps and a detailed list of what to do should you believe there is a natural gas leak in your home.

For example:

- If a natural gas odor is detected inside or outside a house or building, or if a leak is suspected, everyone should get out immediately.
- Do not switch any lights or appliances on or off.
- Do not use cell or landline phones.
- Do not use anything that might create a spark or has a flame, such a lighting a match or a cigarette.
- When far away from the area, call 911, or PSE's 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-225-5773.

PSE takes gas leaks seriously, and says they will immediately send a technician to check out the leak after it's been reported.