Posts Tagged ‘how to detect a gas leak’

Your Guide To Gas Leaks

October 12, 2010

Welcome to GreenHomes Combustion Safety Week!

Topic of the Day is Gas Leaks.

Each day this week we will be addressing a different topic on the safety of your home in regards to combustion equipment.

Today we start with the prevention and detection of gas leaks.

Gas leaks can be extremely dangerous as natural gas is highly combustible. If a gas line, connection, or any of your gas burning appliances leak you and your family are in danger of fire or explosion.

To PREVENT gas leaks (the best way to go) always have your gas burning appliances installed by a licensed contractor, and have such a contractor check your home and appliances for you as part of an annual  check-up, as the EPA recommends for all combustion appliances, and after renovation.

While you should rely on a professional, always BE ON THE LOOK OUT for gas leaks using your senses of smell, sight and hearing.

Smell: By itself, natural gas doesn’t have any odor.  To help alert us to leaks, it is doped with a harmless substance called mercaptan, which smells like rotten eggs. If you smell rotten eggs, and you don’t think you’ve left  decomposing poultry products on the counter, follow the evacuation procedure below.

Sight: On rare occasions, if you have a gas leak the pressure of gas escaping the pipes, connections or fixtures could cause dust to blow around or water to bubble. Additionally, if you have a gas leak outside your home it may cause the surrounding vegetation to whither and die. If you notice any of these problems around your home, follow the evacuation procedure.  We don’t recommend that you try to find these leaks yourself.

Sound: Also rare, hissing and blowing sounds near a gas meter, piping or appliance are a red flag.  If you experience this follow the evacuation procedure.


1.     Extinguish any open flames in your immediate vicinity including stove tops, cigarettes, candles, incense etc.

2.     Do not switch on or off any appliances or lights or make any phone calls. This can create sparks that can ignite gas.

3.     Leave the building with your family as soon as possible, leaving the door open as you exit.

4.     Call your gas company from your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone and ask them to immediately check your house for gas leaks.

Important Tip: It is not safe to use a telephone inside a home that has a gas leak, so it is wise to program your gas company’s phone number into your cell phone or leave their business card in your car or taped inside your letterbox.

Tomorrow: Carbon Monoxide Safety…

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