Hazards of a Gas Leak

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Household Gas appliances are used every day. Being far more energy efficient than electricity, gas ovens, cooktops and water heaters are much more preferred options electric appliances. Like electricity, gas appliances have certain risks with each appliance.

Gas leaks can occur if appliances are not installed by professional, experienced gas fitters and if appliances are not maintained or serviced properly. Gas leaks may lead to dangerous consequences if not addressed carefully and in a proper way. If you suspect a gas leak (a rotten egg smell) you may have a gas leak and you need to act quickly to eliminate and remove the danger if possible.

If safe to do so you should follow the procedure below before calling a professional gas plumber.

  • Turn the gas supply off at your gas meter or at the LPG cylinder
  • Shut down all gas and electrical appliances including any gas pilot lights
  • Open all doors and windows for ventilation if it is safe to do so
  • Extinguish all naked flames and do not smoke

Hazards created by Gas Leaks

Fire and explosions

Gas leaks can be the cause of fires and explosions in buildings. LPG and Natural gas is highly combustible, which means that it can produce a large amount of heat – even when a small amount of gas is burnt. As a result, a gas leak can increase the risk of fires and explosions since it can spread quickly and is very combustible. Anything that can spark, can ignite gas under certain conditions. Both LPG and Natural gas has a rotten egg-like odour added to it to detect leaks. If you happen to smell gas follow the procedure above if safe to do so. If you feel it is unsafe, evacuate immediately and call the fire service to take care of it.

Carbon emission

Methane, the major element of natural gas, is a lot more potent than carbon dioxide. Leaking of unburnt natural gas can increase carbon emission in the atmosphere.

Health hazards

If the leak is small; has been detected and stopped early, it is not harmful for health. Long term exposure to gas leak, on the other hand, has hazardous effects on health. Inhaling deeply concentrated gas can lead to asphyxia and possible death. Symptoms of asphyxia is fatigue and chest pain. Unburnt gas emits a by-product of carbon monoxide which may cause monoxide poisoning.

Reduced oxygen in atmosphere also leads to symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, nausea and headache. Continuous gas inhalation in lower concentration may induce pneumonia, nausea, vomiting, irregular breathing and memory loss.

Gas leaks should be investigated and eliminated as soon as they are detected. Our expert team at Gasco Services can detect and repair gas leaks in gas appliances and/or infrastructure at your residence. Call our office or visit our website to find out more.

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