The recent gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley are an unfortunate reminder of the importance of home safety precautions. We rely on natural gas for so many things in our home, but we often forget that it can be dangerous. Do you know the signs of natural gas dangers? And what to do in case of a natural gas emergency? Below are a few natural gas home safety tips to keep in mind if your home is serviced by natural gas.
Detecting Natural Gas Leaks
Natural gas is normally recognized by its smell. Unfortunately, by the time you smell it, there’s quite a bit already in your home. For early detection, consider purchasing a gas detector. Many CO detectors now sense other types of gases that may be present, so one unit can serve multiple purposes.
What to Do If You Suspect a Gas Leak
If you smell gas in your home, try and quickly find the source. The most common is the stove in your kitchen. For instance, if the burner control knob on your gas stove is not turned completely to the off position, it can leak small amounts of gas. You can address this by turning it off fully and opening the windows to air out your home. For more serious situations where there is a strong gas smell or you can’t locate the source, it’s best not to spend too much time in your home. Leave immediately and call 911 for assistance.
Homeowner Do’s and Don’ts
In an emergency, there are certain things that you should do and other things that you should avoid. Knowing what these are will help keep you and your family safe.
- Turn off the source of the leak, if it’s safe to do so.
- Leave immediately and call for help.
- Leave windows and doors open.
- Turn on anything with a switch. This could spark a fire.
- Light matches or candles.
- Return home until your home has been deemed safe by either the gas company or fire department.
- Use a space heater.
More Natural Gas Home Safety Tips
You can help keep your home safe and prevent potential problems by following these general guidelines:
- Have your gas appliances installed and serviced by professionals. Avoid doing it yourself!
- Keep flammable materials away from gas appliances.
- Don’t allow your children or pets to play near gas appliances.
- Use appliances only for their intended purposes. For instance, don’t use your gas stove to heat your home.
- Talk to your family about gas safety.
Gas leaks are a scary thing. We hope that you will never have to experience a gas-related incident, but if you do, remember the above tips.