Because of technical developments and stronger safety regulations, gas leaks are becoming less common with each passing year. Even yet, there is still the possibility of a leak due to a problem or faulty fitting, especially in the case of older appliances. Due to their unlikeliness, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about a leak all of the time, but you should know what to do if you smell gas.
Detecting a Gas Leak
The ability to smell a gas leak is the most obvious indicator. This only applies to a gas leak, not to an odourless but extremely lethal carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide leaks are far more difficult to detect, but there are a few tried-and-true procedures described in another article on this site. Soot surrounding the device, a yellow, flickering flame instead of a bright blue flame, or your pilot light turning out regularly are all symptoms that something is wrong with your gas equipment. Even if you can’t smell gas, there are visible signs that a gas leak is present. Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or queasy, having a chronic headache, or having an overall sensation of tiredness are all examples. If these symptoms arise inside your home but disappear when you go outdoors, you most likely have a gas or carbon monoxide leak and should seek emergency medical attention.
What To Do If You Smell Gas
The first thing you should do is open any windows and doors to let fresh air in and reduce the gas density. Turn off your gas mains tap if you know where it is (typically near your metre) and it is easily accessible. After that, you should leave your home and call the National Gas Emergencies hotline at 0800 111 999, where you should follow their instructions. If a spark comes into touch with gas, electrical objects can cause a fire. Do not use your phone until you are outside. Any other electrical equipment in your home, such as light switches and bare flames from matches or lighters, are as dangerous. Do not re-enter your home until a gas engineer arrives and confirms that it is safe. If you become unwell, seek medical attention as soon as possible and advise your doctor or hospital that you may have been exposed to gas or carbon monoxide.
Preventing Gas Leaks
It’s always preferable to avoid a leak than to have to deal with one afterwards. Before utilising your gas appliances, get them installed and tested by a licenced Gas Safe engineer. Having your appliances serviced by a reputable gas expert on a regular basis, ideally once a year, should ensure that any concerns are treated before they become serious. Installing a gas detector and a carbon monoxide alarm is always a smart idea (especially important due to it being otherwise undetectable and extremely dangerous). If you move into a rental house, the landlord is responsible for making sure everything is installed and serviced properly. You can get a gas safety certificate from them to verify that they are meeting their responsibilities.