While rare, natural gas line leaks can be extremely dangerous. The most telling sign of a natural gas line leak is the familiar rotten egg odor of the natural gas. This odor is added to the natural gas so it can be detected in the event of a leak.
The biggest hazard of a gas leak is an explosion. When natural gas builds up in an enclosed area, it becomes extremely volatile. A gas build up has the potential to be explosive, or could make those in the area very sick. Gas leaks in the home can be easily prevented by ensuring flexible gas lines are inspected regularly and installed properly by licensed professionals.
Gas leaks outside the home are dangerous as well. Most gas lines coming into the home are buried underground. Before doing any job that requires digging outside, homeowners should contact their utility company to verify the location of the lines.
If you detect a strong gas odor, follow these tips:
- Do not attempt to locate the leak.
- Do not turn any electrical appliances on or off.
- Do not smoke or use any open flames.
- Leave the house and, from a safe distance, call the utility company and 9-1-1.
- When digging outside, if a natural gas line is damaged, call the utility immediately. Do not attempt to repair the line.
By following these safety tips, natural gas can continue to be a safe and efficient source of energy for the home.