Illustration for article titled Know These Signs of a Gas Leak and What To Do NextPhoto: Mr Doomits (Shutterstock)

The smell of gas in your home or neighborhood is terrifying as a leak can cause fires and explosions. How RP Gas Piping reported, “Between 1998 and 2017, an average of 15 people died each year in incidents related to gas distribution in the United States.” Knowing what to look for and what to do about yourself and your property is important to rescue, but not all signs of a gas leak are what you think they are. Here’s how to spot a gas leak and how to keep yourself safe.

Illustration for article titled Know These Signs of a Gas Leak and What To Do Next

How gas works

There is 2.8 million miles of regulated natural gas pipelines in the United States, with 64% of US energy transported through pipelines. Alliant Energy has one kid friendly infographic to explain how gas gets to your home.

  • Natural gas companies dig thousands of feet into the earth and use large wells and pumps to bring them to the surface.
  • Then they send the gas into your city through underground gas pipes. Utilities bring it to your home in smaller tubes.
  • These pipes connect to the meter outside your home, which measures how much natural gas your family is using.
  • Additional pipes connect the meter to the gas devices that you use at home, such as B. the oven, the water heater, the tumble dryer or the stove.

The first step is known as “Fracking. “It is a dangerous form of discovery for natural gas as the digging and transportation process can and contaminate the groundwater Make animals and people nearby sick. It is also a volatile, unstable substance that is prone to explosion.

Look out for white smoke and the smell of rotten eggs

The gas and electricity company ConEdison explained The main things to look out for in the event of a gas leak.

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  1. The smell of rotten eggs. (This is different from the odor of LPG, which is more of an oil-based chemical scent.) Natural gas is really odorless. Energy companies added the substance called mercaptan and gave it a distinct rotten egg smell to help identify the gas if it should leak.
  2. White smoke coming out of the pipes can mean gas is leaking into your home or building.
  3. Bubbles in standing water. Standing water doesn’t naturally bubble, and if you see this it could be a sign of a broken gas pipe. At the same time, bubbles around pipes or device connection pipes can mean that gas is escaping from the line.

In addition to these signs is the People’s Trust Insurance The company instructs people to look out for things like swirling dirt. Similar to bubbling water, spiral or swirling dirt can be the result of a broken or leaking underground pipe.

If you hear a hiss or whistle from your oven or dryer, dangerous gas can enter the building. Brown or discolored plants in your garden can also mean a gas leak. But don’t call 911 every time one of your favorite plants dies – watch out for the brown vegetation that is surrounded by lush and healthy plants. This means you may have a dangerous leak.

Leave immediately if you notice any signs of a gas leak

ConEdison recommends leaving the website immediately. Do not turn on lights, appliances or use your phone as these objects can create sparks and cause an explosion. If you are no longer at the site, call your gas and electricity company, fire department, or 911.

Take preventive measures

There are small precautions you can take to reduce the chance of a gas leak in your home. Always make sure your hob is turned off when you are not using it as any burners that are turned on but not lit will release gas into the air. Also, do not place any flammable objects such as paint, aerosol cans, or hand sanitizer near gas appliances. If you have significantly older gas appliances, consider upgrading to newer ones or get a professional examined to make sure you are in safe shape.