The Dangers Of A Gas Leak
Sitting in chemistry class, you may have learned that the carbon-hydrogen compound that makes up natural gas doesn’t have an odor. Because we frequently use natural gas throughout our lives, that makes it dangerous to our safety. So before it’s introduced to our homes, we add a sulfuric smell, often referred to as a rotten egg smell, to alert homeowners of any potential danger.
Natural gas can be dangerous at best, deadly in worst case scenarios. Still, natural gas is currently one of the safest and cleanest-burning fuel sources we have. It’s used in millions of appliances across the Atlanta landscape, powering everything from stoves, water heaters, dryers, and grills. As long as it’s burned correctly, it won’t produce anything more than water vapor and carbon dioxide.
The reason natural gas is frequently used is that it’s highly combustible. Small amounts of natural gas can produce large amounts of heat. For that reason, it’s equally easy to turn a natural gas leak into something dangerous.
If you suspect a leak, stop what you are doing immediately and leave your home.
Don’t flip switches, unplug items, or use the telephone. Any connection could be all it takes to ignite and cause fire or an explosion.
Inhaling a high concentration of natural gas can lead to a variety of symptoms, which include fatigue, headaches, stuffy nose, and chest pain. When the air is deprived of oxygen, it means more carbon monoxide is present. Less oxygen leads to asphyxia, which kills around 500 people every year across the United States.
If you smell natural gas, don’t ignore it.
If you smell natural gas near an appliance, it could be a pilot light has gone out or a burner valve is open. A quick fix may be all that is needed to take care of the problem.
If you smell natural gas in the home and aren’t sure where it’s coming from, contact your local gas company or 911 immediately. The stronger the smell, the quicker you should act.
Gas companies and local plumbing contractors will provide 24/7 emergency services to address your concerns. Your safety is of top concern.