What To Do If You Smell Gas In Your Home

Natural gas is among the cleanest and safest fossil fuels used to give power to home appliances such as heaters and stoves. However, it is tasteless, odorless and colorless, and odorless, so chemicals are added by suppliers to make it easier to identify gas leaks. 

Smoke or carbon monoxide relies on alarms to detect its presence, while odor, sound, and sight detect natural gas leaks. Gas leaks are not toxic, but leaks increase the potential and risk of fires and explosions and must be dealt with accurately and immediately.

How Does Gas Smell? 

Gas has a very peculiar and characteristic odor and is added to the supply to detect gas leaks quickly. Mercaptan, a chemical added to natural gas, gives off the smell of old, stinky socks or rotten eggs. 

How To Detect A Gas Leak?  

The first sign of any gas leak is its characteristic odor. Leakage of gas can also cause some physical symptoms like dizziness, headache, and nausea. If the symptoms and signs persist for a long time, it is recommended that you visit a hospital as soon as possible and see your doctor. Even if you don’t smell the gas, it may be around your home appliances f you still feel a gas leak, it may be around your home appliances. Windows with excessive condensation or the presence of an apparent but musty odor in the air, change in color of flame from dark blue to orange or yellow can be signs of a gas leak. 

How To Identify Natural Gas Leaks?

There are various signs by which you can detect a natural gas leak. some of these are mentioned below:

  • Rotten egg smell
  • Continuous Bubbling in Standing Water
  • Roaring or Hissing Sound
  • Dead plants
  • Unnatural Dirt and Air Movement
  • Health Effects

Propane Smell Detection 

There might be a leak of propane in your home. It has a strong odor like rotten eggs or dead animals. Propane manufacturers deliberately add scents to alert customers about its leaks for safety issues. So act whenever you think you smell the stench. But also make sure that the odor is propane and not coming from other sources such as litter, skunk sprays, sewers, carcasses of animals, etc. Potential leaks should also be taken seriously, but be especially careful if the odor is powerful, accompanied by a swooshing sound, or does not go away.

Can A Gas Leak Make You Feel Unwell?

Your body can react to gas leakage as it causes a drop in the level of oxygen in the air. Some of the symptoms are: 

  • Dizziness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Headache 
  • Irregular breathing
  • Flu-like symptoms  
  • Eye and Throat inflammation  
  • Nausea 
  • Nasal bleeding 
  • Chest pain 
  • Thin skin
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Ear ringing  

Gas Leaks Can Also Cause Symptoms In Pets. Pet Owners Should Be Aware Of The Following Signs:

  • Changes in mood and behavior 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Sore throat 
  • Red or watery eyes 
  • Vomiting 
  • Very high gas concentrations can lead to unconsciousness or death. 

If the symptoms worsen when you are indoors but subside when you are in the air outside your home, then there might be a gas leak in your home. If you have these symptoms but don’t smell the gas, you may have a carbon monoxide leak. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can cause symptoms similar to gas leaks. Carbon monoxide is released when the gas is incompletely burned. Its exposure is fatal and requires urgent treatment. According to reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports between 1999 and 2010, 5,149 people died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: 

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Headache 
  • Loss of muscle control 
  • Nausea 
  • Bright red lips and pink skin

What To Do If There’s A Gas Leak In The Home? 

  • Turn off all electrical appliances. 

Don’t operate any electrical switches or gas, and this includes flicking even a light switch. Make sure to turn off the cooker too, and don’t even think about lighting a cigarette indoors! 

  • Ventilate the property 

Keep the windows and doors open immediately to allow the gas to disperse as quickly as possible. Let the fresh air come in. 

  • Turn the gas off directly at the meter.  

Turning off gas directly from the meter is essential to avoid any severe damages. But if you are not sure where the meter is, make it your priority to locate it. Call your home gas supplier if you require help finding it. If you live on a commercial property, talk to the owner about where the meters are stored and turn them off immediately. Then, turn the lever 90 degrees toward the gas line and close the valve to turn off the gas. 

  • Evacuation 

Evacuate everyone, including pets, from the building immediately. 

  • Call for Professional Assistance 

If you cannot resolve the issue yourself, be sure to get in touch with qualified help immediately. Call National Gas Emergency Services at 0800 111999. 

  • Notify your neighbor 

If you suspect that the leak can affect your neighbor, please let your neighbor know about the leak. It is always recommended that you ensure their safety also. 

  • Wait for it to be completely clear. 

Once you have evacuated from the building, no one should return to the site other than the professionals. Wait for everything to clear before going back inside. If you have any of the above symptoms or you feel unwell, it is advisable to visit your hospital as soon as possible. Inform them of a gas leak so they can provide appropriate treatment.

How To Avoid Natural Gas Leaks 

Natural gas leaks cannot always be stopped, but there are some precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk of sparks and leaks. 

  • Regularly maintain your system and devices for wear and tear that could lead to gas leaks. 
  • Have your devices and pipes professionally checked for leaks at least once a year. 
  • Contact an expert to have the gas fitting and shut-off valve replaced. This will prevent the old infrastructure from rusting and leaking.

Stay Safe And Know The Risks

There is no doubt about it; leaked gas can be hazardous. However, serious leaks are rare and are usually caused only by long-term neglect of systems. The easiest way to prevent leakage problems is to invest in regular maintenance by a qualified professional. For the safety of everyone, gas leaks should be handled by a specialist. Call an experienced technician to assess your problem. They are available around the clock to provide service to any customer. In addition, you can schedule regular appointments to keep you safe all year round.

Conclusion 

To prevent leakage of gas in your home is to take proper precautions. First, make sure the gas detection equipment is installed and maintained by a registered technician. Then, if you don’t have one yet, install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Unlike household gas, a carbon monoxide gas leak can be more fatal. So it is worth investing in a portable gas detector.

If you feel any symptoms mentioned above or smell prominent and prolonged gas, empty the place and call for professional assistance.