Natural Gas Safety

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In the Event of a Gas Leak

If you smell even the tiniest bit of natural gas in the air, leave immediately and inform your gas company! If you don’t know that number, dial emergency services, 9-1-1.

  • Do not use any electrical device, such as light switches, telephones or appliances such as garage door openers. They could spark and ignite the gas.
  • Do not use an open flame, matches or lighters.
  • Do not try to locate the source of the gas leak.
  • Do not try to shut off any gas valves or appliances.
  • Do not start vehicles.
  • Do not re-enter the building or return to the area until your gas company says it is safe.
  • If the natural gas ignites, let it burn. Do not put out the flame; burning gas will not explode.

Signs of a Natural Gas Leak

  • A “rotten egg” odor
  • A blowing or hissing sound
  • Dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area
  • Flames, if a leak has ignited
  • Dirt or dust blowing from a hole in the ground
  • Bubbling in wet or flooded areas

Prevention of Slow Natural Gas Leaks: Natural Gas Appliances

  • Installation: You should always seek professional assistance when installing a natural gas appliance. Incorrect installation can lead to a slow and undetectable natural gas leak.
  • Maintenance: Read and follow the manufacturer instructions for the care and use of natural gas appliances.
  • Natural Gas Flame: Check the flame on lights and burners. If pilot lights and burners have a steady, blue flame, they are operating correctly.
  • Gas Stove: Never use your stove to heat your home or for anything besides cooking.

Prevention of Slow Natural Gas Leaks: Your Home

  • Inspection: Have all gas appliances, furnaces, vents, flues, chimneys and gas lines in your home or business inspected every year or two by qualified industry professionals. This is usually a free service!
  • Ventilation: Keep the areas around all appliances and equipment clean and unblocked to allow for proper air flow. Natural gas can build up in the air of your home if it is not given the opportunity to circulate out through vents.
  • Household Chemicals and Flammable Materials: Store chemicals and flammable materials away from gas appliances.
  • Fire Extinguisher: Always make sure there is at least one multipurpose fire extinguisher in your home or place of business.
  • Children: Keep your young ones away from natural gas appliances and teach them natural gas safety.

Natural Gas and Carbon Monoxide

Your gas heating system can produce carbon monoxide (CO) if it is not working properly, or if it is inadequately vented. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is different than Natural gas Poisoning, but just as toxic.

Signs indicating the presence of carbon monoxide in the home include stuffy, stale or smelly air, very high humidity or soot coming from a fireplace or heating system. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, unclear thinking, shortness of breath, weakness, vision problems and loss of muscle control.

You can protect your family from Carbon Monoxide poisoning by following all of the natural gas safety tips and installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector.

All rights reserved © Suki Reed, 2007