Gas Safety 101

Natural gas is integral to our daily lives. It serves a vast array of functional purposes including heating buildings, heating water, cooking, refrigeration and outdoor lighting. It’s a virtual necessity to have natural gas in your home—but natural gas can be a legitimate health hazard if it leaks into your living space.

How do you check for a gas leak? You can use your senses, which we’ll cover in more detail below. Have you ever wondered how to tell if you have a gas leak? This article will cover that and more.

Bad smell

How do you check for a gas leak? The first and most obvious sign is if you smell a strong odor reminiscent of rotten eggs or sewage. Some people say it smells like sulfur. Natural gas doesn’t have a distinct odor on its own, so for safety purposes, gas companies add an agent called mercaptan that produces the trademark pungent smell. If you smell this, you should leave your home and promptly call the emergency services in your area, as this could mean that you have a gas leak.

Hissing sounds

When learning how to tell if you have a gas leak, it’s important to use your senses. We touched on smells above, and we’ll cover sounds here. If you hear a hissing sound near your appliances or pipes, this could be indicative of a gas leak. The sound might continue even if the given appliance is turned off. You should routinely check your appliances and gas lines for damage or hissing noises, as once you hear a hissing noise, you could already have a considerable gas leak.

Dead plants

Just like the famous canary in the coal mine was used to detect dangerous gases, your plants can tell you that you have a gas leak. Specifically, if you’ve been taking good care of them and they’re dying or wilting, a gas leak could be the culprit. This is because natural gas inhibits a plant’s roots from being able to absorb oxygen, and this can cause them to wilt. If you have dead patches of plants outside, the leak may be underground, and you should have it checked out quickly.

Tips for dealing with a gas leak

We’ve covered how to tell if you have a gas leak. Here are some safety measures you can take to keep your family safe in the presence of natural gas:

  • If you have a natural gas stove, only use it for cooking (not heating).
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and know how to use it.
  • Install at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home.
  • Don’t attempt to repair or install natural gas appliances yourself; call a professional.
  • Make sure the space is clean and clear around your HVAC system, appliances and any pipes carrying natural gas.
  • If you have children, inform them of the dangers of natural gas and tell them not to touch any knobs or switches.
  • Don’t store combustible materials like cleaners, aerosols, gasoline, chemicals or solvents near your furnace, stove or other appliances.

Call for your safety inspection today

As useful as natural gas is, its potentially destructive power must be respected. A great way to ensure safety is to have regular inspections of your home and its natural gas lines. That’s where we come in. Call us at AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. We can provide a comprehensive inspection and help you improve your home’s fire safety today.

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