How to detect a gas leak with our Gas Scratch & Sniff Card

We are UK printers of a gas scratch and sniff card helping everyone on how to detect a gas leak.

Following on from previous year’s successful Gas Safety Week with many housing groups, almost all UK and Ireland gas distribution networks and Fire & Rescue Services, we have successfully designed and printed gas scratch and sniff cards. These cards are intended to increases awareness of the gas smell amongst young people, parents and communities.

In the UK, it is assumed that everyone knows the smell of natural gas.

Alarmingly a survey proved this assumption to be incorrect. Everyone should appreciate the consequence of not knowing the smell of natural gas can cause and the devastation it wreaks, as seen in the media recently.

In addition, the survey also showed that 48% of people do not know what action to take in a gas emergency. This is worrying as, according to RIDGAS, in 2021-22 there were 2,598 notifications of dangerous gas fittings reported in Great Britain of which 830 were in rented properties resulting in fatalities.

Gas Scratch & Sniff Card

So, what does a gas leak smell like?

Gas leaks are something everyone should take seriously and always use a gas safe engineer for installation and maintenance.

It could be opportune and worthwhile considering utilising an initiative for educations and community safety campaigns with the launch of a card containing the associated pungent smell of natural gas. Similar cards are issued by the Fire & Rescue Services throughout the USA for school presentations.

Gas smelling cards have been produced for English and Welsh housing groups, who are issuing them to tenants as part of their annual gas maintenance programme.

We have proactively and successfully developed this product that increases awareness of the natural gas smell in the form of a gas scratch and sniff card.

This card is multifunctional in that it not only contains the gas smell but also important information on actions to take if the smell is detected. The reverse of the card contains ‘Do’s and Don’ts’, as questions that will be asked when reporting a potential gas leak and the consequence if ignored.

This gas fragrance is made up of crystals that are encapsulated so every time the card is lightly scratched, the pungent odour of Mercaptan is released.

Consequently, the smell can be retained for years, thereby giving the card a life for people to have handy either on a notice board or affixed to a fridge in case of emergency.

With more children coming home from school to an empty house, the elderly and people entering the country from abroad, it is becoming apparent that gas safety should be acknowledged by all concerned. With our scratch & sniff gas cards enables young people and families to recognise the smell of gas – and how to stay safe if they do notice a dangerous leak.

This technology is not widely available in the UK and we feel would act positively in its distribution to build awareness of the dangers of gas in the public and business domain.

The survey concluded that 100% of people said YES when asked if they would like to receive a gas card.

The reverse of our card specifically details what to do if you smell gas.



Around 1.1 million gas jobs are carried out every year by illegal fitters who aren’t properly qualified, putting householders at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions, a government body has warned.

A study by Gas Safe Register, the nation’s only official gas registration scheme, found that illegal gas fitters installed over 186,000 gas cookers, 147,000 boilers, 75,000 gas fires, 32,000 gas meters and 645,000 gas pipework over one year.

The Gas Safe Register team searched out rogue fitters and investigated almost 5,000 illegal gas jobs in recent years, finding that 3 in 5 were in an unsafe condition. A worrying 1 in 5 were deemed to be so dangerous that the appliance had to be disconnected immediately.


A fifth of UK homes have unsafe gas appliances according to the latest inspection figures.

Of 19.452 UK homes inspected between April last year and March 2019, one in five (3,966) were found to have unsafe appliances such as cookers, boilers or fires. [Source: Gas Safe Register]

This follows a reported increase for the number of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning incidents attended by UK Fire and Rescue services. Incidents rose by a third from 2,450 in 2014 to 3.249.

Carbon monoxide is odourless tasteless gas that is produced then fuel is not burned properly, usually by badly fitted or poorly maintained appliances.

A survey for the Gas Safe Register found 92% of carers did not know at least one of the key signs of an unsafe gas appliance.


The National Gas Emergency telephone number is 0800 111 999.

When calling the Gas Emergency Helpline you will be asked a number of questions for more detail.

Don’t rely on your memory – keep the gas safety information leaflet in a safe place that you can access quickly in a real emergency.

Request free samples to trial NOW

For more information, go to:

Check out our other scratch & sniff cards called ‘What Do Drugs Smell like?’ at WHAT DO DRUGS SMELL LIKE? – Print Specialists UK

For any samples of our drug awareness initiatives, go to Contact – Print Specialists UK

It’s somewhat gratifying to see Cadent Gas using a gas scratch & sniff card in support of educational programmes and community engagement in their areas.



Cadent Gas Scratch & Sniff Card