Because natural gas is the principle fuel in U.S. homes, it’s a good idea to be aware of hazardous gas leak signs. Over 60 million households rely on gas to warm the home, cook food and heat water. Overwhelmingly, it’s a safe, clean-burning fuel that is also plentiful and economical.
If natural gas begins escaping inside the house, however, it can quickly escalate into a hazardous or even fatal event. Once the concentration in the air reaches a level of just 30 parts per million, a risk of impending fire or explosion exists. Another dangerous potential is suffocation as natural gas accumulating inside an enclosed structure displaces oxygen in the air.
Common Gas Leak Signs
Odor. A pungent “rotten egg” smell is added to gas so that any escaping amount will be easy to smell. This odor is hard to miss and should be considered an urgent warning sign that must not be ignored.
Physical Symptoms. Inhaling low levels of natural gas typically causes symptoms that could be mistaken for common illnesses such as the flu:
- Nausea or queasy feeling
- Labored breathing
- Unexplained fatigue
- Chest pain
If You Suspect A Gas Leak
- Don’t spend time attempting to track down the source of the leak yourself.
- Don’t turn any electrical switches on or off.
- Don’t light any matches.
- Do extinguish any open flames such as candles.
- Do get everyone out of the house immediately and take a cellphone with you.
- Do contact 911 and/or the gas company once you are outside.
- Don’t go back into the house until the gas company or fire department tells you it’s safe.
To reduce the potential of a dangerous gas leak in your home, all gas appliances in the house including stove, furnace, water heater and space heaters should be inspected annually by a qualified plumbing professional.
For more information about dangerous gas leak signs in your home, talk to the plumbing pros at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about potential gas leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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