Natural gas is commonly used in households for kitchen and heating purposes however, one of the major threats is a gas pipe leakage in the house which can be extremely dangerous and even fatal in some cases. In most countries, gas is used as the essential energy resource for water boilers and kitchen needs.
Natural gas is also relatively cleaner, cheaper, and produces abundant heat for different purposes. People use gas stoves, boilers, heaters, and much more appliances that use natural gas. Natural gas is safe to use but you have to be careful to avoid any unfortunate incident.
Some of the commonly used gas appliances at home are:
- Water Heaters
- Backup Generators
- Gas ovens
- Laundry Dryers
- Outdoor Lights
- Pool Heaters
- Space Heaters
These appliances are commonly used by people in everyday life and are not a big threat but you must ensure that you are using these appliances correctly to avoid any leaks.
Dangers and Causes of a Gas Leak
If not detected on time, a gas leak can be fatal and cause huge losses. A gas leak can even burn down your entire house if not controlled on time. Following are the potential risks associated with a gas leak:
- Adverse health effects
- Accidental fire
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning
Natural gas must be treated carefully as it can be dangerous which is why it is suggested to keep children out of reach. Natural gas is extremely inflammable and even the slightest spark can cause a huge fire. Some of the common causes of gas leaks are:
- Faulty appliances, like boilers or ovens
- Loosely fitted gas pipes
- Poor Appliance Maintenance
- Appliance Malfunctions
- Damaged gas pipes
- An unattended stove that’s been left turned on
- Damaged gas cylinder
- Fitting and Connection Issues
Ways to Reduce the Risk of a Gas Pipe Leak in Your House
1. Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Due to incorrectly fitted appliances or other reasons, there can be a gas leak at any point in your house. One way to reduce the risk of leakage is by installing a carbon monoxide detector at your home.
Any appliance that burns fuel can produce carbon monoxide which is extremely hazardous for health. The carbon monoxide detector is just like a smoke detector that can be installed at your house. You must place a carbon monoxide detector in every room where there is a gas/ fuel-burning appliance.
Before installing the detector, carefully read the instructions mentioned. Do not place the detector near the fireplace or any flame-producing area. Make sure the alarm is placed in an area that is audible in the entire house.
2. Inspecting the Vents on Your Appliances
The vents on your appliances can get clogged with dust and fumes and must be cleaned regularly. Uncleansed or blocked vents can accumulate gas inside which can cause an accident. To avoid any accumulation of gas in vents, you must inspect all your appliances regularly to make sure they are operating normally. You should check chimneys, flues, and vents of all appliances.
3. Check the Ventilation of the Rooms
Ventilation of the house is extremely important especially for the rooms where there are gas appliances. If you are using gas heaters in a room for heating purposes make sure the room is well ventilated.
Ventilation should be carried out for at least 30 minutes daily so that there is no threat of gas accumulation in the room.
4. Hire a Professional Team to Check for Leaks in Your Gas Pipes
Using natural gas is safe if the fittings are done correctly by professionals. However, to avoid any unfortunate incident you must get professionals to check the gas pipes at your house. If it has been a long since you got the pipes installed, you must get them thoroughly checked by a team of professionals so they can suggest to you what to do next.
In case of broken or damaged pipes, you may be asked to completely repair them. Make sure you get an inspection and a Gas Safety Certificate. Whatever is your case, getting the pipes checked regularly for leaks is essential to avoid any unfortunate incident. Avoid calling your local plumber in case of gas leaks and only go for licensed gas professionals.
5. Educate yourself With the Symptoms of a Gas Piping Leak
You must also be aware enough of the gas situation at home to avoid any trouble. Learn about the symptoms and what to do in an emergency situation to help protect yourself and your loved ones. Having a basic knowledge of gas maintenance is important to avoid any dangerous situation.
The problem with natural gas is that it is odorless and colorless hence you cannot detect it with the naked eye initially. However, there are a few symptoms that you can observe to detect a gas leakage. Some of the early symptoms of gas leakage at home are:
- Rapid breathing
Other symptoms include discoloration of plants due to carbon monoxide leakage and rotten egg smell. If there is a gas leakage or a threat of leakage:
- Turn off the gas supply at the source, usually a gas meter
- Do not light a match and avoid turning on any light, as electrical circuits can cause a spark
- Open all of the doors and windows to ventilate the space
- Immediately evacuate the building and inform others as well.
- Call the emergency to resolve the matter and do not enter the building until the matter is resolved.
Beware of Gas Pipe Leaks During Home Remodeling
You must be careful before thinking of renovating your house or breaking any wall. You may block the gas pipelines or even damage them unknowingly which can cause a huge problem at your house. Before making any changes, first, consult a professional engineer who can guide you about the pipelines and how to save yourself from any unfortunate incident.
Moreover, always consult licensed professionals before construction so that your pipelines are fixed correctly. Also, avoid planting any trees or shrubs near the gas source.
Guest Contributor: Arslan Hassan