Natural gas is generally a very safe and efficient fuel for heating systems and powering appliances in NYC homes. But when there is a gas leak, it can quickly become a significant safety hazard with a potential for gas poisoning or explosions if it is not handled quickly.
Understanding the signs of a gas leak and knowing what to do if you ever notice them can help keep your family and your property safe in the event of an emergency.
Signs of a Gas Leak in Your Home
A gas leak can be the result of a damaged gas pipe or malfunctioning appliance. When it happens, there are usually a few signs that will warn you of the issue and make it possible to keep your family safe. These signs include:
- Rotten Egg Smell – Utility companies add a chemical to natural gas that makes it smell like sulphur or rotten eggs to help you determine a leak.
- Hissing Noise – A small break in a pipe or appliance connection can cause a whistling or hissing sound as gas escapes.
- Signs of Damage – If you see obvious damage to a gas pipe or gas powered appliance, it is safest to assume there could be a leak.
- Physical Symptoms – Inhaling gas can cause dizziness, irritation to the eyes and throat, or headaches.
It is worth noting that the physical symptoms of a gas leak are very similar to the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Yet carbon monoxide is significantly more dangerous than gas and can lead to fatalities at a faster rate. If you are experiencing physical symptoms, it is important to leave the property as soon as possible.
How to Protect Your Family and Property from a Gas Leak
If you suspect a gas leak in your home, these safety precautions can prevent health issues, including death, and damage to your property from a fire or explosion. You should never attempt to use an appliance or repair the leak yourself. Instead, you will want to follow these steps:
- Turn Off Any Gas Appliances
- Open Windows to Improve Ventilation
- Exit the Property
The last step is the most important. In any case where you do not believe it safe to stay long enough to open windows and shut off appliances, you should safely exit as quickly as possible.
After you are off the property, you will need to call your utility company or 911 to have the gas service shut off and stop further leakage. If you believe you have inhaled a large amount of gas or carbon monoxide, you should also call 911 or go to the emergency room.
Once you’ve taken care of your safety and that of your family, the next step is to get the gas leak repaired by a licensed master plumber in NYC. In Brooklyn, Manhattan or Staten Island, Empire Plumbing is the top choice for gas leak repair and can help you keep your home safe with fast and reliable services. Call us today if you suspect a gas leak in your home.