Gas leaks are a serious hazard every homeowner should be wary of. They usually happen at home due to faulty gas pipes, poorly maintained gas appliances, and even improper installation of gas equipment. When not addressed immediately, they can cause fires and explosions, which could potentially lead to fatalities.
Aside from damage to property caused by fires and explosions, excessive exposure to natural gas can be detrimental to one’s health as it can cause symptoms of asphyxia, such as breathing difficulties, skin blisters, dizziness, eye irritation, and flu-like symptoms.
Due to these safety and health hazards, taking necessary precautions to avoid gas leaks at home is essential. Here are some tips to help you prevent gas leaks at home:
Install Gas Detectors
Installing gas detectors is one of the best ways to alert you to gas leaks in your household. These devices detect the presence of gas in the air, allowing you to become aware of a potential leak before it becomes dangerous. Consequently, you can take the necessary precautions to prevent property damage, injuries, or even loss of life.
Invest in gas detectors for your home and install them in areas where gas appliances are used, such as the kitchen and the basement.
Conduct Regular Maintenance Of Gas Appliances
Gas appliances such as stoves, ovens, and water heaters require regular maintenance to ensure they function properly and efficiently. Although they’re designed to provide convenience and comfort to homeowners, they can also pose a safety threat when they’re not properly maintained. For instance, improper maintenance of gas appliances can cause gas leaks, resulting in fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
For this reason, you should maintain your gas appliances regularly. Work with a professional from a reliable company like Fergusons Plumbing to inspect the appliances and spot any issues. They can look for any signs of gas leaks, clean the burners and pilot lights, and replace any worn or damaged parts. By doing this, you can ensure your gas appliances at home operate efficiently and without any problems.
Proper Installation Of Gas Appliances
Apart from regular maintenance, your gas appliances at home should be properly installed to ensure their efficient and safe operation. Poor installation can cause gas leaks and other safety hazards. Hence, make sure the gas supply and connections are correctly installed, and the appliances suit the size of the space.
It’s also highly advisable to have a qualified technician install the gas appliances in your home. They have the knowledge and experience to install the appliance correctly and ensure they comply with local building codes.
Check For Gas Leaks
Look for any signs of gas leaks at home to prevent safety hazards from occurring. It’s an essential safety measure that should be done regularly if you use gas appliances and devices in your household. While natural gas itself is odorless, a sulfur-like or rotten egg smell often associated with it comes from an additive called mercaptan (or methanethiol), which is mixed with the natural gas to aid in leak detection. So, if you smell something like rotten eggs, it’s a potential sign of a gas leak, and it’s best to act quickly to avoid a possible disaster.
If you suspect a gas leak, switch off the gas supply right away and contact a professional to address the problem. Don’t attempt to fix the issue yourself, as this can be dangerous. A professional plumber can safely locate and repair the gas leak, ensuring your safety and of your family.
Store Gas Containers Properly
Typically, gas containers, such as propane tanks, are used for cooking, heating, and other household purposes. However, if they’re not stored properly, they can cause leaks, resulting in fire or explosion. Hence, while it’s important to store your propane tanks outdoors, they also need to be protected from extremes of weather and positioned away from ignition sources. Propane tanks should never be stored inside dwellings, including basements and garages, or near stairways or exits.
Additionally, keep the containers away from direct sunlight and heat sources, as they can cause the gas to expand and explode. Also, ensure the containers are stored upright in a stable position to prevent them from tripping and causing gas leaks.
Ensure Proper Ventilation At Home
Gas appliances can produce carbon monoxide gas as a byproduct of combustion. When this gas isn’t properly vented, it can accumulate inside your home and cause a safety and health hazard. To avoid gas buildup and reduce the risk of leaks, make sure to keep all the vents for gas appliances clear. Also, use exhaust fans to help vent gases and moisture outside.
Lastly, avoid using gas appliances in enclosed spaces as it can lead to gas buildup, which can pose a safety threat to your home, including carbon monoxide poisoning.
Educate Your Family
It’s also important that your family knows how to handle situations involving gas leaks at home. This way, they can protect each other and the property from the dangers associated with gas leaks. So, make an effort to educate your family on the dangers of gas leaks and what to do in such a situation. Teach them how to detect gas leaks and how to turn off the gas supply. Also, create an emergency plan in case a leak happens.
Gas leaks don’t have to be a health and safety hazard in your home at all times. With proper safety measures in place, you can prevent accidents and illnesses associated with gas leaks. So, if you’re concerned about the safety of your family and property, follow these tips to prevent gas leaks.