Thousands of homes all over the world catch fire every year. The main culprits for these accidents are electricity and gas. In winter when it is snowing, residents need to keep the gas stoves on to keep them warm. If your gas supply system is not hundred percent leak-proof, gas can escape and impose a great toll on life and property. You need to be very alert while using gas in your home. A sound knowledge of gas supply system, leak detection technique, and basic maintenance tasks may prevent potential damage and make your family feel safe.
Potential causes of gas leak
Most of the gas leaks occur from faulty pipelines or appliances like heaters, stoves, etc. Poor fitting of new or refurbished appliances can be a source of a gas leak. So you need to install those by a professional and certified technician or engineer, if you are in Houston you might wantto check out Gas Leaks Houston. Repair and maintenance jobs should be done by them as well. Gas can also escape from a poor sealing, so inspect those sites frequently to detect any leak. Be particularly careful when moving to a new home because residents living there earlier might not be watchful about these issues.
Signs of a gas leak
The smell of gas depends on what type of gas is supplied to your household. Most natural gases are odorless. However, the smell of methane is sometimes obvious- a slightly pungent and awkward smell. Some gas companies add a tiny amount of sulfide gas to the natural one. In that case, a small leak will smell like rotten eggs that can be very easy to detect. Some gas lines contain carbon monoxide which is deadly for health. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are lightheadedness, shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea. If you feel these symptoms, promptly get out of the room and take some fresh air. Feeling well after breathing fresh air may indicate carbon monoxide leak (thus, gas leak) in your house.
Other obvious signs of a gas leak from household appliances include a crisp blue flame from a gas hose or any site around the appliance, a pilot light that tends to blow out, etc. Also, the presence of soot or black scorched areas may indicate a continuous small leak that has been occurring for quite a while.
Immediate measures after a gas leak
First of all, don’t panic, evacuate yourself and family members immediately to avoid loss of life. Next, rush to the gas meter or main switch and turn off the gas supply. Sometimes the valve that regulates the gas flow can be rusty and too tight to turn. You can use jaw adjustable wrench to assist in valve closure. However, you need to know where the meter is located in the first place. Be familiar with the gas supply system when moving into a new home or if there any recent change to the layout. Familiarize with the necessary urgent gas leak measures here.
After that, open all the doors and windows so that fresh air can get into your room and dilute the leaked gas. Keep them open to ensure ventilation. If the windows are locked, or the home already caught fire, don’t enter the house, stay outside and look for help. It is essential to avoid using any electrical switches in the room, as they will create sparks that can explode the gas. For example, don’t turn the light switches on even the room is dark. If you notice any naked flame near the room such as a candle, burning cigarette, etc., immediately get it at a safe distance. After dealing with these urgent issues, call emergency or fire service to send firefighter team. Remember to use the mobile phone from outside or a neighbor’s home. In most instances, no credit will be required to call the emergency.
Measures to prevent gas leaks
Prevention is always better than cure. You can avoid the majority of gas related accidents by using safe household appliances. As those are exposed to extreme heat on a regular basis, wear and tear are very common. Check them frequently and repair promptly if there is any sign of malfunction or damage. Finally, you can install a carbon monoxide alarm in your room to detect gas leak very early.