Tips for What to Do If You Have a Gas Leak in Your Home & Office If you ever find yourself in an unfortunate situation …
8 Signs of a Gas Leak in Your Home
Symptoms of a gas leak in your home can be hard to spot, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some common signs and symptoms of a gas leak that every homeowner should know about.
1) A Strange Smell
Of course, not all strange smells are signs of a gas leak. But sometimes what you smell is natural gas; it’s not something you want to ignore. Natural gas doesn’t really have an odor—so what you smell might be sulfur, which is added for safety reasons, or something else entirely. In any case, if you notice an unusual scent coming from your vents or fireplace, don’t take chances; call your utility company and alert them to your concerns. You may need to leave your home while they investigate further.
2) White Mist or Fog
At times, you may notice a white mist or fog on your windows or patio doors. This occurs when natural gas condenses into a liquid and is released into your home. The white mist or fog that you see can be particularly noticeable if it’s warm and humid outside, because it can be more difficult for natural gas to transfer to its gaseous state as compared to cold weather. If you see a white mist or fog coming from an appliance in your home (such as a water heater), don’t turn anything off; instead, immediately contact your emergency line to identify what’s causing it and resolve any potential issues.
3) Fireball Sightings
Don’t panic—you probably don’t have to evacuate your home. A fireball is an initial explosion that happens when natural gas or propane meets a spark (or flame) near your home. The flames could shoot up to 200 feet and will quickly die down, making them easy to miss if you aren’t looking for them. If you spot one, get away from it immediately and call your gas company.
4) Sudden Dizziness
Carbon monoxide is odorless and you might not realize you’re being affected until it’s too late. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness and confusion. If you’re experiencing these issues around your home or business, there could be a gas leak. Check all sources of gas including gas stoves and furnaces. Carbon monoxide is odorless and you might not realize you’re being affected until it’s too late. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness and confusion. If you’re experiencing these issues around your home or business, there could be a gas leak. Check all sources of gas including gas stoves and furnaces.
5) Shortness of Breath
If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, dizziness, and tingling in your extremities, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms can indicate that a gas leak is filling your home with carbon monoxide. A simple CO detector can alert you to gas leaks before they become dangerous.
6) Nausea or Stomach Pain due to Gas Leak
Nausea and stomach pain is one of first signs that you’re suffering from gas leakage. This may develop due to low oxygen levels inside your home. You should immediately detect and seal any leaks or call for emergency help if severe pain persists.
7) Eye Irritation
If you smell gas and experience eye irritation, that’s one sign of a gas leak. There are two kinds of eye irritation: an odor that makes your eyes water, or a stinging sensation when you open your eyes. Either symptom is reason to suspect that your home has an undetected gas leak. If you notice these symptoms, move yourself and any pets out of harm’s way right away—and call your local fire department.
8) Higher Gas Bills
Though your gas usage might increase over time as you add new appliances, it shouldn’t rise by more than 10% over six months. If you’re seeing a rise of 20% or more, you may have a leak somewhere. An easy way to see if you’ve got a gas leak is to simply turn off all your electrical devices and lights for one minute: if your gas bill goes up, you know where to look for leaks.
What to Do If You Find a Gas Leak?
The most important thing to do if you find a gas leak is stop what you’re doing. Don’t try to fix it yourself, don’t just run away and tell everyone else, but stop what you’re doing and call the emergency helpline immediately. In some cases, such as when your house is filling with gas quickly or it looks like there could be an explosion any second, running out of your house might be your best bet. If that doesn’t seem possible, follow these steps;
Close all windows, doors, and vents leading outside of your home; turn off air conditioners, fans, heaters, swamp coolers and anything else that pulls air from outdoors; avoid areas where you smell gas (obviously); remain calm.
Some people who experience nausea after breathing in natural gas say that moving to fresh air helps relieve their symptoms—in those situations go outside if at all possible (or open windows so fresh air can get inside). If you’re trapped inside your home, call 911 immediately and tell them where you are and what’s happening. They will come to rescue you. If it is not safe for firefighters to enter your home, they may advise you to safely exit on your own.