How to detect a gas leak on your property – and what to do if you find one
Every day, homes throughout Greater Cincinnati use natural gas for everything from water heaters to oven ranges to clothes dryers. While natural gas is very clean and usually extremely safe, natural gas leaks can occur, and when they do it can be a very dangerous situation.
Not only can gas leaks lead to explosions, they can also cause you and your family to become ill. Gas poisoning is a potentially serious condition that can cause nausea, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness and even loss of consciousness.
Don’t let a gas leak put you and your loved ones in danger. Below are our tips for detecting a gas leak and what you can do in the event that you’ve got one inside – or outside – your Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky house.
How to detect a gas leak inside your home:
Follow your nose – Natural gas contains an additive that makes it easy to smell. Usually described as a “rotten egg” or sulphur-like scent, this is often one of the first signs there’s a gas leak someplace in your home. Follow your nose to the leak. Then, when you find it, stay away from the area until you’ve taken steps to fix the leak (we’ll tackle this below).
Follow your ears – Yes, you can actually hear a gas leak. If you smell what seems to be natural gas, and also hear a hissing sound in the same area, that’s usually a good sign you’ve got a gas leak. You can often hear a hissing sound easily around appliances like your oven range or from your gas valves, for example, if there is a leak.
Check malfunctioning appliances – If your gas stove or water heater doesn’t produce a flame when it’s ignited, check for a gas leak. And while these are obvious appliances in your home where leaks can occur, also check others that are powered by natural gas such as your clothes dryer and also around your home’s valves and pipes.
How to detect a gas leak outside your home:
Look for dying plants – If there’s a gas leak near flower, plants and trees, they will look wilted and lifeless. Eventually, they can even die because a gas leak will deprive the plant’s source of oxygen. If you begin to see dry, brown, or otherwise discolored plants there is a good change you have an outside gas leak, especially if you’ve otherwise taken care of your lawn with proper watering and other methods.
Flames – In rare cases, natural gas leaks can cause flames coming from the ground. You’ll want to steer clear of the area if you detect this and call your local fire department immediately.
What to do when you observe a gas leak in your home:
• Open all doors and windows
• Put out all candles or other naked flames
• Do NOT turn on any electrical devices
• Do not turn on or off any light switches. Leave them as is.
• Do not smoke
• Know where your appliance and building gas shut-off valves are located and shut them off
• Get everyone, including pets, out of the house
• Contact 911 and your local energy provider
• Do not re-enter your home until the gas leak is repaired
Allied Reddi-Rooter can help you detect gas leaks and repair natural pipes on your Greater Cincinnati property. Give us a call today if you’re concerned you may have a leak. It’s best o err on the side of caution when it comes your family’s safety.