We've all heard the horror stories of families going to sleep at night and never waking up. They are overcome by fumes from a gas leak and never have a chance.
Most people, however, think it can never happen to them, or that the biggest worry you have with gas is an explosion. That simply isn't the case. The greatest danger is that carbon monoxide is a silent and invisible killer.
Natural gas can be a convenient, safe and economical choice for any home when used properly and monitored closely.
Keep reading to find out the dangers and signs of gas leak symptoms.
Why Natural Gas?
Many people prefer natural gas for many features of their home including:
- hot water heater
- clothes dryer
- air conditioning
- and more
Some may wonder why you'd consider using natural gas if it can be a potential danger and requires a bigger initial investment than electrical units.
One of the main reasons is money. While it takes a bigger initial investment when buying a new appliance or natural gas feature for your home, it's cheaper in the long run.
Another reason is that you're not reliant on electricity. If there's a local power outage you can still do the things you want to do with natural gas. Your gas air conditioner or stove will still work and you won't be at the mercy of the power company to restore your electricity.
How to Stay Safe with Natural Gas
One of the main things you need to do to stay safe when using natural gas in your home is to ensure that it is installed properly and maintained regularly. Have professionals check on the natural gas features regularly so that any issue is taken care of before it becomes a danger.
All hoses, connectors, elements, etc should be checked and verified that they're in good working order.
It's critical to have a carbon monoxide detector to go hand in hand with your smoke alarm. Change the batteries and test it regularly.
How to Tell if There's a Gas Leak
One of the first signs of a gas leak should be the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs. While natural gas in its original state is odorless there has been a distinct smell added to help warn individuals that there is a leak.
Even with the smell added approximately 500 people in the US die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Another 20 000 to 30 000 people become seriously ill because of it.
So obviously the smell isn't always enough of an indicator to keep people safe. You need to proactively monitor the items that use natural gas in your home. Some of the ways to do this include:
- check for a blue flame on the pilot light, not one that is yellow or orange.
- ensure the pilot light is always on and hasn't gone out
- make sure there is no scorched areas or soot surrounding your appliances or house features using natural gas
- check for excess condensation or a musty smell around windows or in the air.
Gas Leak Symptoms
If you find that you, family members or company are tired and fatigued more than usual with a headache and dizziness than you need to check for a carbon monoxide leak.
Your eyes or throat may be irritated and you may feel nauseated as well as experience breathing problems or respiratory difficulties.
If you or anyone in your home experiences these complaints it's important to get out of the area.
What To Do If You Think You Have a Gas Leak
Don't use your phone, look for the leak or try to repair it yourself. Don't turn lights on or do anything that could cause a spark.
Immediately open the windows and doors, leave, call for help and seek medical attention.
You want you and your family to be safe and being aware of gas leak symptoms is a vital way to do that. Have proper maintenance done and be proactive in keeping everyone safe and healthy.
Check out our blog for more tips on home safety like 5 reasons why you should get your air ducts cleaned.