Gas Leak Smell

November 3, 2013

Gas Leak Smell

The natural gas that you use at home as a fuel is odorless in nature. However, whenever there is a natural gas leak, you will smell a strong odor. This is because the suppliers add a noxious scent so as to prevent any accidents and ensure early detection of a gas leak in the house. It is an olfactory warning to tell you that harmful and fatal vapors are loose in your house, and you need to take action immediately.

Another purpose of this gas leak smell warning is that if you are exposed to natural gas in great quantities, it has the potential to kill you. Even after this, natural gas still happens to be the safest fuel source.

Warning Signs of a Leak – There are some warning signs of a gas leak –

Odor – Natural gas leak smells like rotten egg or sulfur.

Sound – Sometimes, you might hear a hissing sound or a blowing sound caused due to leaking air.

Dead Vegetation – If the area is naturally green, you would see dead vegetation or discoloration.

Sudden Flames – If the leaked gas has escaped and caught a spark, you would see flames.

Bubbling – Flooded or wet areas might see some bubbling.

Note: Be proactive – consider a gas leak detector.

What to Do? – Now, there are a few safety steps you should follow when you smell a gas leak smell and they are as follows –

Leave the House – First and the most important step that you must follow when you smell the rotten egg odor is to stop whatever you are doing immediately and leave the house. This is especially advised if the smell seems too strong. Go outside because inhaling natural gas in large quantities could cause asphyxia (deprivation of oxygen in the body) and eventual death. If you feel chest pains and sudden fatigue, those are the symptoms of asphyxia and it would become all the more important for you to leave the house.

Do Not Switch On Electrical Appliances – Do not, under any circumstances, light a match or a fire of any sort. It is not even prudent to flip on the electric switches in your house. Do not use cell phones and landlines either. Basically, stay away from anything that has the potential to cause a spark.

Report the Gas Leak Smell – Call 911 or Consumer Energy services to report the leak. At times like this, it is best to call instead of emailing. That way, you can be sure that help would reach you sooner than later. Also, alert other people (like your neighbors) about the leak so that people living close to you can retreat to a safe place as well. Natural gas is extremely combustible and if it catches even a small spark, a huge fire could occur and it would be fatal to everyone in the vicinity.

Do Not Try to Locate the Source – Do not try to locate the source of the leak yourself. Also, do not try to fix the leak on your own. This is a dangerous situation and it is best left to professionals with experience.

Do Not Try and Put out Fire In Case You See a Flame – If you see a flame, the best course of action would be to leave the area immediately. Do not put out the fire and let it burn because natural gas does not explode.

Wait for help to arrive to you and stay at a safe location until then. Only reenter the premises when the professionals tell you that it is now safe to go. You can have gas leak detectors at your house for more protection in the future.


Category: Gas Leaks