Natural gas is a very economical and convenient option for home uses like cooking, heating and etc., indeed, it has already been widely-used in the daily life. It’s safe for people and pets in your home if the gas is installed and used properly and correctly. However, gas leaks occur sometimes. It will cause carbon monoxide poisoning and easily take the lives.
In the following, let’s see every detail of what to do if you have a gas leak in your home, and also figure out the sign of a gas leak to keep you home and family members from gas leaks in advance.
First things first, you have to make sure that you can recognize a gas leak. Ask yourself if you know or your family members know the answers to these questions: what does gas smell like? What are the signs of a gas leak in home?
· Gas Smell
Sometimes, you can easily find a gas leak by smelling the odor of rotten eggs or sulfur. In fact, nature gas is odorless, why the gas could be smelled is because a mercaptan odorant is added intentionally into the natural gas to help people can smell gas leaks. This is the most obvious sign of a gas leak. Do not forget to teach your family members, especially your children, to recognize the “rotten eggs” or “sulfur” smell.
In addition to the sharp smell, there are some other signs of a gas leak in home:
· the gas pipe is damaged
· hissing sound from the leaky gas pipe (maybe inside the wall)
· dust cloud close by the gas pipe
· dead indoor plants
You may not notice the above signs, but your body can. You will probably encounter these physical symptoms if you are long-term exposed to poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
The physical symptoms include nausea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness and short of breath. Any one of them is often life-threatening. This time, you have to leave the gas leak thing aside, and go outside, call 911 and your gas company immediately.
Besides the gas smell, many cases of gas leaks cannot be noticed until you have physical symptoms. Here are some actions that you can take, if you suspect or smell a gas leak in your home.
1. Check all the gas appliances like burner, water heater, oven or stove, and make sure all of them are turned off properly
2. Extinguish all flames that are lit up
3. Turn off the gas supply in your home
4. Open doors and windows to ventilate the house. If it’s necessary, let all people and pets go outside for a while
If the gas smell is still coming and you have no idea about the source of the gas leak, contact the gas provider. But remember to call from outside since your home is probably unsafe to stay.
What we emphasized again and again was that a gas leak will be life threatening, so you have to keep these important Not-To-Do things in mind if you have a gas leak in your home.
· Do Not turn on the lights in your home
· Do Not use any appliance
· Do Not light any flame such as candles, cigarettes or etc. in your home
· Do Not stay or use make phone calls inside of your home
In fact, many accidents resulted in gas leaks can be prevented. Try to manage these preventions and keep your families and home from any possible gas leak.
· Carbon monoxide alarm: install carbon monoxide alarms near those combustion appliances (basically in the kitchen or bedrooms). The devices will emit very loud sound if carbon monoxide is detected.
· Inspections on a regular basis: schedule regular inspections (at least once a year) for all your gas-burning appliances as well as gas pipelines.
· Adequate ventilation: adequate ventilation must be provided in areas where you place gas equipment and appliances. This will effectively prevent the gas from building up.
· Stay informed: make sure all your families members (especially your kids) know how to recognize a gas leak and what to do or what not to do if there has a suspected or confirmed gas leak in your home.