Every year, hundreds of Americans suffer from gas leaks in the home. Gas leaks are responsible for carbon monoxide poisoning and house fires. If you have a gas leak, you must call for repair immediately. Sheely Plumbing Inc. has been serving Alto and the greater Grand Rapids area for years with expert gas leak repair.
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The Dangers of a Gas Leak
While natural gas is used safely by many people as a fuel source, one must always be aware of the dangers that can result from a gas leak. Here are a few things to consider:
If you inhale a high concentration of natural gas, it can lead to asphyxia, which is a condition when the body is deprived of oxygen. Symptoms of asphyxia include fatigue and chest pain. Some estimates say that nearly 500 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning every year.
Another danger of a gas leak is fire or explosion that can result if the house is filled with gas, and someone ignites it by flipping a light switch or striking a match. If you have gas appliances and/or a gas furnace, it’s wise to get a carbon monoxide or gas detector for your home to warn you of potential danger.
What to Do if You Smell Gas in the Home
While natural gas is odorless and colorless, the supplier adds a chemical to the gas that gives it the traditional sulphuric or rotten egg smell you’re familiar with to alert you on the presence of gas in the house. If you smell gas, follow these steps to remain safe.
- Do not light any matches or lighters while you’re in the house.
- Don’t light any candles.
- Don’t flip any electrical switches.
- Don’t use a land telephone or cell phone in the house.
- Get out of the house.
- Call 911 from a safe location.
- Call the gas company for repair.
- Call a residential plumber for help.
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Common Gas Leak Causes
Gas leaks often come when you least expect them and can cause severe damage to your home and health if you’re not careful. For this reason, you must take immediate action if you think you have a gas leak. Here are the common causes of gas line leaks in the home.
- Appliances - If you have natural gas-powered appliances, the seals that connect the piping to these devices can corrode over time, which leads to leaking gas.
- Poor Piping - There lies a zig-zagging maze of pipes under your home that brings gas into the house. Over time, these pipes can fail and disconnect, causing gas to leak. Inadequate piping is common in older homes, so it’s wise to have your pipe system regularly inspected for leaks.
- Poor Ventilation - Carbon monoxide is the emission that comes from malfunctioning appliances that produce heat. Heating systems produce carbon monoxide, but get rid of it via an exhaust fan or through the chimney. However, if the fan fails or the chimney is clogged, carbon monoxide will fill the home and can put you and your family in danger.