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How to Safely Navigate A Gas Leak

Person adjusting the burner on a stove.

It is common knowledge that a gas leak in your home can be dangerous, but would you know how to react to a gas leak in your own home? It’s always important to be prepared for any emergency. Here are some things to remember if you suspect you have a gas leak in your home.

Signs to watch for:

There are many warning signs to stay alert for when assessing if there is a gas leak in your home. The following are potential indicators of a gas leak:

  • If the pilot light under your furnace is out or is a soft yellow color

  • If there are stains or discoloration around your furnace

  • If you smell sulfur, smoke, or any other unnatural fumes

It should be noted that carbon monoxide can be particularly harmful to detect. The reason is that CO is a gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. This is why having a working carbon monoxide detector is essential in any home. Without one, the only other sign of a CO leak may be when you start exhibiting symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  • Muscle aches

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Vomiting

  • Blurry Vision

If any of these warning signs are present, remember the following steps:

Step 1: When in doubt, get out.

This means getting yourself, your family, and your pets out as fast as possible. In the face of an emergency, the best thing to do is to stay calm and make sure everyone you care for is safe and out of harm’s way. Do not go searching for the gas leak, and don’t try to solve the problem yourself. Make sure you don’t switch on any lights, turn off any appliances, or strike any matches. The best thing you can do is get you and your loved ones a safe distance away and wait for a professional to assess the situation. If the smell of gas was strong or you were unsure of where the gas was coming from, wait until you are outside to call for help.

If the smell of gas is faint and is coming from around an appliance, you can shut off the appliance you are near. Sometimes accidents happen, and we bump the stovetop, and gas starts running. It also helps to open a window to let some of the gas disperse.

If you end up shutting off your own gas supply, do not turn it back on yourself. This job needs to be handled by a professional who can assess if the gas leak is no longer a threat to your household.

Step 2: Call for help.

After you have had a moment to get outside and assess the situation, call for help. If you’re not sure who to call, just dial 911, and they can help get the appropriate personnel to your location as quickly as possible. Do not reenter your home under any circumstance until a professional gives you the okay.

Step 3: Contact a medical professional.

After experiencing exposure to gas, it is important to contact a medical professional as soon as possible. They will be able to tell you if the exposure has had any lingering side effects and get you the care you need.

Preventative Measures:

It’s important to make sure your home has a CO detector in a reliable place on each floor. Make sure to test them when recommended to ensure they are working properly. It cannot be stressed enough that a working CO detector may be the only way to know definitively if you have a leak in your home; just like smoke detectors, they are essential tools to keep you safe at home.

Another way to guarantee the safety of your home is to schedule regular maintenance. When needed, it’s crucial to have a professional come to assess the working condition of your furnace and gas pipes. They know how to spot warning signs and will help guarantee the best solutions to keep you safe in your home.

To schedule a gas pipe maintenance check call Nuckols Plumbing, Heating & Cooling at (804) 214-2077 or contact us online! We are here to answer any questions you have and prevent you from experiencing a dangerous gas leak.