If you have a gas leak in your home, you’ll know it fast by the scent of rotten eggs. Possible appliances that could be leaking gas include your furnace, gas or propane fireplace, oven, stove, or water heater. If the smell is coming from one of these appliances, open all the doors and windows to ventilate the house. Once you, other people, and pets are outside, call your gas service provider for help. However, if you can’t quickly locate the origin of the smell or hear a hissing sound, you should evacuate the house immediately and follow these guidelines for getting out safely.
Don’t Touch Anything Electrical
With enough gas in the air, anything electrical can cause a spark and potentially ignite. In the process of evacuating your house avoid the urge to turn any lights on or off as you exit the home. Don’t unplug or plug anything into the wall, refrain from lighting a cigarette or candle and don’t operate any electronic device such as your phone. Even turning on your car is off limits until the gas leak is resolved.
Let Your Home Ventilate
As you exit your home, open any windows that you can and leave all the doors open. By allowing your house to get plenty of ventilation, you will reduce the chances of anything igniting within your home before help comes. It will also help you be able to return to your home faster after the problem is resolved. Once the rotten-egg smell is gone, you will know the gas is gone from your home, and it is safe to re-enter.
Gas leaks are nothing to mess around with. After evacuating your home, call 911. They will know how to assist and direct you to make sure no injury or damage comes to either you or your home. They will also be able to make you feel safe re-entering your home after they have located the cause of the leak and resolved the issue either themselves or with the help of a plumber.
Turn Off Gas at the Meter
If there is a gas leak in your home, gas will continue to invade until the source is turned off. Since you may not know what appliance is leaking, it is best to turn off the gas to your entire home. Once you are safely out of your home and have called for help, turn off your gas at the meter if you can. Don’t worry if you think you won’t be able to turn it back on. Your local plumber will be able to assist you.
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Smelling gas in your home can be a scary experience but not uncommon. If a gas leak occurs again in the future, you should take precautions to help identify the leak and be able to deal with the problem better. Such precautions would be to buy and install carbon monoxide detectors near all combustion appliances, obtain the appropriate type of fire extinguisher for your kitchen and furnace rooms, and avoid using any natural gas space heaters.