Let's Talk About Gas Safety
Category: Save Water
Gas is a popular choice when it comes to home heating and appliances thanks to its relatively inexpensive running costs and environmentally friendly sources. However, left unchecked gas leaks can cause serious harm through fires, explosives and faulty appliances even causing carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you have gas in your home, you need to take the proper precautions to stay safe, ensuring your gas installations and appliances are properly installed and well maintained. Here's what you need to know about gas safety, including identifying leaks and what to do about it.
What Are The Dangers?
Being lighter than air, natural gas can quickly disperse throughout a home and due to its highly flammable nature, can pose serious risks to residents' safety. When gas is used in an area without adequate ventilation or if there is a faulty gas appliance, excess carbon monoxide is released. Carbon monoxide can cause a range of adverse symptoms including headaches, vomiting, nausea and even fatal poisoning. Carbon monoxide can also be produced from a dryer, fireplace, water heater or boiler and due to its colourless and odourless properties can remain unnoticed.
How Can I Protect Myself?
So what is the most effective approach from protecting yourself and your family from gas leaks? There a several useful safety precautions you can take.
Firstly and most importantly, always ensure that a licensed gasfitter installs all your gas appliances. Portable gas appliances such as barbecues and patio heaters while not requiring installation by a licensed gasfitter should be installed according to the manufacturer's assembly instructions, ensuring that all connections are tight. If you are not confident in doing this, get a qualified professional to assemble your BBQ and also to check connections regularly to ensure they are tight and not leaking gas. More generally, it's best practice to have all gas appliances serviced at least every 2 years so they remain in top condition.
As far as pipe maintenance is concerned, make sure you have gas pipes checked annually as many accidents happen due to aging gas pipes. Remember that you can't keep a close eye on pipes in your roof or under floor so it's best to have them regularly checked by a professional who knows exactly what to look for.
When it comes to your day to day use it's always best to follow the recommendations in the manufacturer's instructions. Steps like ensuring that there is adequate ventilation when using gas appliances and that outdoor appliances such as a BBQs and patio heaters are never used indoors. If you haven't done so already, ensure that your gas meter is free from vegetation, snow and ice. Also keep flammable liquids such as gasoline and paint thinners away from fireplaces and water heaters - just to be on the safe side.
How To Detect A Gas Leak
Just because you can't smell, see or hear any evidence of a gas leak, doesn't mean that there isn't one. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it's very possible to not smell it, see it or hear it. The best way to detect the deadly gas is to install carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of your home or business to reduce exposure to harm.
What To Do If I Detect A Gas Leak?
If you detect a gas leak the safest thing is to leave the area - don't do anything that can create a spark such as using a mobile phone, turning on a light switch or using an electrical appliance. Contrary to popular advice, if you smell gas, opening some windows and venting the area affected is just putting you more at risk if there is a substantial leak. The same goes for looking for a source for a leak- the best thing you can do if a leak is suspected is get to a safe location and call a qualified plumber immediately so they can check your pipes, pipe fittings and gas appliances to resolve any leaks.
For fast, safe and reliable gas repairs, Laser Plumbing Queanbeyan knows how to respond effectively to confirm your leak, locate the source and secure your property. If you suspect a gas leak call us immediately for an on the spot quote.