Be Prepared! Gas Leaks Are Often Deadly
More than 74 million American households use natural gas. It allows people to cook, heat water, and it's often used to produce heat and flames on fire features both indoors and outdoors. All in all, natural gas is great. But, certain risks come from this convenient and low-cost fuel. Like electricity, natural gas has the potential to be deadly at times. Improper use of natural gas can result in tragedy.
But, it's also important to know how to spot a gas leak and what a homeowner should do if they suspect there's one in the home. So read on to discover how to be prepared for gas leaks this summer.
The Dangers of a Gas Leak
There are two different types of gas leaks. The first is known as a carbon monoxide leak. This happens when a natural gas appliance malfunctions and burns gas without adequate oxygen present, resulting in inadequate combustion. This can also occur with propane, kerosene, charcoal, and wood. Carbon monoxide is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, so it's important to install carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning is often fatal, but it can cause brain damage and cardiovascular problems when it's not.
The other type of gas leak is a straight natural gas leak. This can happen when the connection between an appliance and the gas plumbing breaks or loosens enough to release gas. A corroded or cracked pipe can also cause a natural gas leak. Luckily, natural gas suppliers add a sulfur-like smell to the gas, making it easy to smell when there's a gas leak. The biggest threat from natural gas comes from its high flammability. But, natural gas can also cause death by asphyxiation.
Signs There's a Gas Leak
Being able to spot the signs that there's a gas leak is important for everyone. This knowledge can save lives, so it's a good idea to familiarize everyone in the household with the following signs.
- Rotten Egg Smell - The chemical companies mix with natural gas smells like rotten eggs, making it easy to tell when there's a leak.
- Dying Plants - Gas leaks can displace the oxygen in the house, which can start to show on houseplants over time.
- Fatigue and Sickness - The early stages of gas poisoning are punctuated by nausea, sickness, fatigue, headaches, and an overall ill-feeling.
- Other Symptoms - Gas leaks can also cause eye irritation, nosebleeds, difficulty breathing, reduced appetite, and paler-than-normal skin.
Steps To Take if There's a Gas Leak
If there's a suspected gas leak, the first thing to do is to leave the building immediately. Get everyone outside (including pets) into the fresh air. Once there, call 911 and explain the situation. Never stop to gather up "important" items save for a cell phone to call emergency services. Taking the time to gather essentials can be the difference between life and death.
Preventing gas leaks is as easy as regular inspections by plumbing professionals. By checking gas lines, pipes, and appliances, these professionals can help determine when the danger of a leak is present. It's also a good idea to have carbon monoxide detectors checked two or three times a year to ensure they're functioning properly.
About Capital Plumbing Contractors
Capital Plumbing has been happy to serve Tallahassee, FL since 1986. They offer 24/7 emergency service and always perform excellent workmanship. They provide honest recommendations and always have competitive pricing. Contract them today to schedule an expert gas line repair service.