Natural Gas accounts for 21% of the global primary fuel. It’s not only used for cooking and baking and things like that but is also used in a variety of different places such as fireplaces, cars, furnaces, clothes dryers, etc.
The use of natural gas is extensive and relatively safe. Indeed, it’s one of the world’s cleanest fossil fuels, but it can get dangerous, even lethal, if not handled properly.
What do we mean by improper handling? And what can happen as a consequence?
Gas leaks can cause fires or worsen them. Inhalation of this gas can also cause poisoning, for instance, in the Los Angeles incident, where a natural gas storage system blew off. As a result, 1700 homes were evacuated, and people were asked not to return to those homes for at least three months.
Today we highlight tips and tricks to help you identify a gas leak and give you a few safety tips so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Even a slight mishap can traumatize you for life or burn down your house, so better safe than sorry!
Gas Leak Symptoms at Home [+ Safety Tips]
Natural Gas leaks are not that easy to detect if the leak is minor. But, do not underestimate the power of the leak because it can get hazardous for you. Look out for the following gas leaks sign so you can quickly repair the damage and stay safe.
1. You Will Start Smelling Rotten Eggs
Natural gas is odorless. However, gas companies have added a chemical to it so that when there is a leak, we can detect it. This is why your house or any place having a gas leak will start smelling like rotten eggs.
If any hissing sounds from the pipe accompany that smell, you know for sure that there is a gas leak.
Safety Tip: If you smell that rotten egg stench, stay vigilant and find the source of the smell. Even if you only get the slightest suspicion of a gas leak, call a qualified repair person to look at it. It’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your home and loved ones.
2. Rusty Landscape
If there is a gas leak, your grass, backyard, or vegetation may start turning brown and rusty. Why does this happen? Gas leak results in carbon monoxide replacing the oxygen in the plants.
Safety Tip: If you see your plants or grass turning brown for no reason, it’s time to call in the gas line repair technician and get new lines installed or get your pipes repaired.
3. Dead Houseplants
Your houseplants will keep dying in the house if there is a gas leak? It occurs for the same reason your backyard turns rusty and brown. If your house plants start drying up even when you faithfully water and tend them, you may have a problem with your gas pipes.
Safety tip: Keep an eye out for dead houseplants, especially when you water, and tend to them regularly.
4. Bodily Symptoms
While a few things around the house might alert you to a gas leak, a common telltale sign of a leak is the toll it takes on humans.
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a family member and can’t attribute it to anything else, perhaps it’s time to call the gas company for an immediate house assessment and trace the leak.
Some of the symptoms to look out for include:
- Breathing difficulty
- Pain in the chest
- Nose bleeds
- Ringing in your ears
- A low appetite
- Flu-like symptoms
Safety tip: If you notice any of these physical symptoms for no other reason, you should immediately call 911 and get out of the house immediately. Gas poisoning can get extremely dangerous.
We also strongly suggest that you get a Gas Safety Certificate after proper inspection of the place if you don’t already have one. And even if you do, it is always wise to get the check-up done again if you get suspicious about any gas leaks.
Other Signs that Your Gas Pipeline has a Leak
Other signs of a leaking gas pipe include:
- Water being blown into the air from one spot
- Any fire or sudden explosions
- Pipe exposure after some disaster such as flooding or hurricane.
- Loss of Scent
You might also experience a loss of scent from the natural gas. The loss of smell is caused by either oxidation, absorption, or a combination of both.
Emergency Safety Tips
If you notice any of the above symptoms of a gas leak, don’t take any risks, follow these steps:
- Turn off the main gas supply to the house immediately.
- Open the windows and allow the place to ventilate.
- Call your Gas Company immediately to come and check for any gas leaks.
- If the odor is strong, you need to evacuate your house immediately.
- If the Gas leak is volatile, it can cause an explosion, which means you need to leave the house, get to a safe place and then call your gas company or 911
It is also critical to have a carbon monoxide detector in your house to save you from carbon monoxide poisoning.
However, it’s also volatile and dangerous under certain circumstances. If you notice any of these symptoms at home, don’t panic. Follow these steps, and you just might save yourself, loved ones, and your home.