A gas leak in your home can be very dangerous to your home, family, and pets. Over 75 million people in the United States use natural gas in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings according to the American Gas Association, leading to a high possibility of gas leaks occurring. Gas leaks are highly flammable and can cause a fire or explosion.
If you do suspect a gas leak, it is very important to:
- Ensure everyone and all pets have vacated the house
- Call 911, your local fire department, or your utility company’s emergency line immediately
- Make the call from outside, not inside the home where the gas leak is occurring for your safety
Symptoms of a Gas Leak in the Home
There are many different signs of a gas leak, from symptoms in your home to physical symptoms. Some of the symptoms in your home that point to a gas leak are:
- The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs
- A hissing or whistling sound near a gas line
- A white cloud or dust cloud near a gas line
- Bubbles in water
- Damaged gas pipes
Another factor that a small, not as noticeable gas leak is occurring is that your gas bills are higher than their usual average. This is from the gas escaping from gas lines or appliances into the house, therefore using more gas.
Physical Signs of a Gas Leak
Along with signs in the home, there are things that will happen to you physically to indicate that there is a gas leak. Some of the physical signs of a gas leak are:
- Breathing difficulties
- Pain in your chest
- Sore throat
- Red or watering eyes
A reduction in oxygen will take a physical toll on your body. If there is a high-level gas leak, this may result in unconsciousness or even death in pets. It is very important to remove everyone, including your pets, from your home if you notice any signs of a gas leak!
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning have very similar symptoms, but the difference is that exposure to carbon monoxide can be incredibly fatal and will require emergency medical treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that there are over 400 unintentional carbon monoxide deaths in the United States a year.
Where Is Carbon Monoxide Found?
Carbon monoxide can be found where fuel is burned, such as:
- Cars or trucks
- Small stoves
It is important to get a carbon monoxide detector in your home. A general good rule of thumb is to change the battery when you turn your clocks for spring and fall.
What Not to Do in the Event of a Gas Leak
If you suspect a gas leak is happening, it is important to act quickly and safely. That includes not:
- Using the phone inside the home
- Searching for the source of a leak
- Attempting to repair the leak
- Turning switches and appliances on or off
- Using sources of ignition
- Keeping doors or windows closed
The most important thing to do in this situation is to report it and allow local officials and trained technicians to fix the gas leak!
Being Proactive With Gas Leaks
It is important to be proactive when it comes to gas leaks. To be proactive, you can:
- Schedule regular maintenance and inspections
- Ensure ventilation around gas-burning appliances
- Install carbon monoxide detectors
- Safe chemical storage (keeping household cleaning items away from gas-burning appliances)
- Keep a fire extinguisher on-site
If you do have a gas leak, you can contact Barbosa Plumbing & Air Conditioning to speak with a knowledgeable expert. We want to keep you and your family safe and knowledgeable about your systems and appliances!
Contact us for any of our other services such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, remodels and renovations, drains and sewers, and IAQ and ductwork. Contact us either online or at 214-351-7030 today!