Gas leaks are a danger that, if left unaddressed, can cause fatigue, illness, and even death. Because of this potential danger, we’ve put together an easy to reference guide on what causes gas leaks, how to recognize gas leak symptoms, and what to do if you notice a leak in your home or business.
What causes a gas leak?
Gas leaks occur for a wide variety of reasons, but most commonly because of improperly installed or maintained appliances or furnaces.
A 2018 report from the National Fire Protection Association states that, on average, 125,000 homes experience non-explosive gas leaks in the U.S. annually. Of the gas leaks that did start fires, 54% were from cooking appliances and 25% were from heating appliances and water heaters.
In many cases with a leak, gas escapes from a poorly fitted, loose, or broken supply line and builds up until something is done about it. Old pipes, worn hoses and malfunctioning appliances can also be factors in homes.
How do I recognize a gas leak?
Let’s start with an interesting fact: natural gas is actually odorless. The tell-tale rotten-egg aroma that is frequently attached to it comes from sulfur-based compounds known as thiols. Thiols were added to natural gas to help detect it during leaks after a deadly gas explosion in 1937 at a school caused almost 300 deaths. This means that the easiest way to detect a gas leak is by smelling it.
That isn’t the only way, however. A slow gas leak in home may not be as easy to notice but your body might start telling you something is wrong.
Carbon monoxide poisoning has distinct, flu-like symptoms including:
An easy way to determine if these gas leak symptoms are caused by carbon monoxide poisoning is by going outside. If fresh air makes you feel better, then it’s time to leave the home. Call a doctor, and get in touch with professionals to help you turn off the gas and address the leak. If left unaddressed, extended exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to irreversible brain damage or even death.
The third and most subtle way to spot a gas leak is by paying closer attention to your home appliances. Does your pilot light always go out? Does the flame on your gas stove always look orange or yellow instead of blue? Are there any inexplicable scorch marks around any appliances? Those are all signs that one of your appliances is the source of a leak.
What if you notice signs of a gas leak?
If you smell gas in your home, the best course of action is to immediately evacuate. Even if you know where the gas meter is, don’t take the risk yourself. Instead, immediately call a professional gas leak plumber to come to your home. They will turn off the gas, find the leak, and fix the issue.
How can I prevent gas leaks?
- Use certified technicians. When you have a new appliance or furnace installed in your home, research the company doing the installation. Read reviews, look for accreditation, and talk to their technicians until you feel confident in them.
- Regular maintenance. Additionally, make sure to keep up with regular recommended maintenance for anything in your home that relies on a gas supply including furnaces, water heaters and ranges.
- Carbon monoxide alarms. Change the batteries and test them to make sure they’re working regularly, so that they can help you when they need to.
Dallas Gas Leak Prevention
You deserve to be warm, safe, and secure always. If you find yourself with a gas leak headache or faulty gas appliance in need of professional help, Ben Franklin Plumbing is always ready to service Dallas, Plano, Carrolton and McKinney gas leaks. Call today or use our online service form to get fast and professional service.