Multiple injuries and sometimes even deaths are associated with gas-related incidents within households each year. These incidents are usually caused by either poorly fitted or poorly maintained appliances like stoves or boilers.
Bad fittings around the connections between appliances and the gas leads going into a home are one of the main sources of leaks. Alternatively, another frequent issue can be older appliances that haven’t been properly maintained or even second-hand appliances that are frequently used in flip properties or rentals.
While gas leaks are certainly dangerous, there are warning signs to help spot leaks as well as preventative measures that homeowners should be aware of.
• Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – While natural gas itself is nontoxic it displaces oxygen and can result in asphyxiation if left to collect in confined spaces. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of a natural gas buildup and in and of itself is odorless. Carbon monoxide is produced when there is not enough oxygen present to bond with carbon-producing compounds. A natural gas leak is the initial cause of the displacement of oxygen. There are a few symptoms of note that can help determine if a person is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms can include:
o Loss of consciousness or collapse
o Loss of breath
o Extreme headaches
• Fires & Explosions – These result from a buildup of gas that is then triggered by an ignition of some kind. A fire, such as that from a stove is not necessarily needed to trigger a fire or explosion. Since natural gas is combustible by design, simple sparks from electrical devices such as switches, televisions sets, or other appliances may be all that is needed to trigger an event.
Signs of a Gas Leak
The number one sign of a leak inside a household is the smell of gas inside the home. This smell may be accompanied by feelings of dizziness or nausea. While common, these are not the only indicators. Below is a list of important signs to look for:
• Gas appliances should always have a crisp blue flame, if they turn to orange or yellow there could be a leak.
• Pilot lights that continually blow out.
• Brown scorches or soot residue on the outside of appliances.
As the first line of defense against leaks, there are three major areas of note:
- When purchasing appliances for a home, always make sure they are installed by accredited professionals. These installations usually come with warranties.
- Inspect appliances often for signs (listed above) of leaks and if any are found, use only registered professionals for repairs.
- Install carbon monoxide monitors inside your home. Small leaks might go undetected as far as smell, but still build up the deadly gas byproduct.
If you think your Indianapolis home may have a gas line leak, time is of the essence! Call Indiana Leak Detection right now at (317) 449-2780.