Millions of residential premises in the US operate one or more home essentials using natural gas. While it’s completely safe and very convenient when used properly, any type of gas leak can result in serious physical repercussions, fire, explosions and even death. Here’s what homeowners need to know about the sign, symptoms and actions to take if a gas leak is suspected.
The Subtle Signs of a Gas Leak
Unfortunately, small gas leaks may not offer any signs, which reinforces the fact that annual inspections on your gas lines and related appliances is as essential as proper installation. Prevention via modern smoke and carbon detectors are highly recommended for ultimate protection.
More significant leaks can offer telltale indications including:
- Hissing or whistling sounds near gas lines
- Dusty or white clouds around a gas line
- The smell of rotten eggs or sulfur that are indicative of carbon monoxide
- Dying or limping houseplants.
- Increased gas bills.
Physical Symptoms People and Pets May Experience
Gas leaks reduce oxygen in air and introduce chemical compounds that can result in:
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest pains
- Eye, throat and nose irritation
- Nausea and flu-like symptoms
If anyone in the home experiences these symptoms or notices other signs of a gas leak, here’s what to do right away.
Steps to Take if You Suspect a Home Gas Leak
- Get all people and pets evacuated from the home immediately.
- Leave the doors open if possible.
- Once outside, call 911 and emergency contact to the utility company or the fire department.
- Don’t call from inside the home to avoid igniting sparks from the gas.
- Seek medical attention if symptoms are severe.
Avoid gas leaks through prevention: professional installation, routine inspections, and gas/carbon monoxide detectors in the home.