As one of the cheapest and most readily available forms of energy on the market, natural gas is a mainstay of our lives and livelihoods. This is why consumers should know the possible dangers of natural gas in order to best protect their homes and families. Gas line leaks are serious business—even a minor one can affect the health of an entire household. In order to repair such leaks precautions must be taken to assure safety.
A by-product of natural gas, carbon monoxide can be deceptive and extremely harmful. When inhaled this toxic gas can be flat-out deadly, and because it is odorless and colorless people cannot easily detect it. Carbon monoxide exposure causes flu-like symptoms, headaches, and dizziness—people experiencing these symptoms should immediately leave their homes and call emergency services.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by:
✔ Installing carbon monoxide detectors in various locations throughout a house makes if safer for early detection.
✔ Inspecting gas water heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces for the proper ventilation of vents, flues, and chimneys.
✔ Never heating a household with an oven.
✔ Never sleep in a room heated by a gas or kerosene space heater.
Gas Line Leaks
The accumulation of natural gas in an unventilated area can cause sickness or lead to an explosion. Local utility company should be consulted for the proper identification and marking of gas lines prior to any major repairs by homeowners.
A “rotten egg” smell indicates a gas line leak. If this smell exists:
✔ Use a cell phone only when out of range from the suspected source of the leak.
✔ Shut off all gas valves.
✔ Do not use any electric appliances, even if only to turn them on or off.
✔ Do not smoke or use open flames.
✔ Do not attempt to locate the leak.
✔ Remain at a safe distance from the house, and only then call emergency services and the utility company.
✔ Call the utility company immediately when a natural gas line is damaged from digging outside. Never repair the line yourself.
Schedule annual gas line inspections and make sure that natural gas lines are properly installed by licensed professionals. Opt for regularly-inspected flexible gas lines—gas lines deteriorate over time and by way of weather and stress.