Millions of people depend on natural gas every single day. From heating our stoves to taking a hot shower, natural gas is constantly in use. However, while we frequently utilize this energy source, many people don't think about the possibility of a gas leak. Unfortunately, these emergencies do happen.
What's a Gas Leak?
Natural gas is a fossil energy source located beneath the earth's surface. We use natural gas for many purposes, such as cooking, staying comfortable, and heating water for a shower. When there's a gas leak, this means natural gas has escaped through designated gas pipes. A gas leak can lead to several issues, including medical problems.
Signs of a Natural Gas Leak
Multiple signs may indicate a natural gas leak. You may notice a foul smell, such as the odor of sulfur or rotten eggs. Other signs to look out for include:
- Damaged gas pipes
- White or dust cloud near a gas line
- Dead houseplants
- Hissing sound near a gas line
- Unusually high gas bill
- Physical symptoms such as dizziness
If you notice any of the above, call an expert right away. They'll instruct you on what to do next.
Physical Symptoms of Gas Poisoning
Because a gas leak reduces the amount of oxygen in the air, you may experience physical symptoms if exposed. This can lead to gas poisoning, which typically involves the following symptoms:
- Ringing in your ears
- Chest pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Breathing problems
- Decreased appetite
If any of these symptoms are troubling your family, call a professional as soon as possible. Keep in mind a gas leak can also impact your pet's health.
What If You Suspect a Leak?
First, pay attention to how you feel inside the home compared to the outdoors. If you only experience symptoms while inside, there could be a leak.
- For minor leaks, turn off any pilot lights and contact your gas company. They will explain the next steps.
- For more serious leaks, you may notice a strong odor or uncomfortable physical symptoms. If that's the case, leave your home immediately and call your utility company's emergency number.
Here are some prevention tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Teach children about natural gas safety.
- Keep children away from gas appliances.
- Make sure gas appliances have enough room for adequate airflow.
- Ensure you have working carbon monoxide detectors.
- Have your home inspected for leaks at least once a year.
See more natural gas safety tips today to keep your household protected.