Many households use gas to run their appliances. While they can be an affordable energy source, gas lines can end up developing leaks in time. Most leaks will be minor, but other leaks can turn out to be expensive and difficult to fix. No matter how big or small the leak is, it is important to call a professional plumbing company to get it fixed as soon as possible. Even though gas offers many benefits for in-home use, it also has potential dangers that can affect your health and safety. Breathing gas fumes for an extended amount of time can be bad for you. Additionally, a spark can set gas fumes on fire.
Safety Hazards From Unfixed Gas Pipes
- Fire Risks
Natural gas is a commonly used energy source. It is popular because it only takes a small amount of natural gas to produce a lot of heat energy. This means that natural gas is very flammable. A gas leak of any size in your home could increase the risk of a fire breaking out. Even the use of a smartphone in a room where gas is leaking could spark a fire.
- Health Concerns
When it burns, natural gas produces emissions. When gas lines are running properly, the amount of emissions is so small it will not affect you or harm your health. However, a big gas leak can emit enough fumes to harm your health significantly. Without proper ventilation in your home, exposure to natural gas in large quantities can lead to respiratory issues.
Even in small rooms, natural gas can amass large quantities quickly. If gas has been leaking into a room that is unventilated for a long time, it will not dissipate. If enough gas is gathered in a small space, it can catch fire and cause a potentially fatal explosion.
Natural Gas Safety Tips Homeowners Should Know
Millions of homes utilize natural gas appliances. It is important to follow safety tips to enjoy the great benefits natural gas has to offer. Identifying the symptoms of a natural gas leak as soon as possible is important to your health and safety. Any signs of a gas leak should be fixed by a professional right away.
- Recognizing Natural Gas Leaks
Natural gas is naturally odorless and colorless. To help identify leaks in your appliances, most energy companies will include odorants that create a strong smell that homeowners can easily identify. Typically, the odor will smell like rotting eggs or sulfur. The stronger the smell is in your home, the bigger your leak may be.
- Hissing Sounds
A leaking appliance can produce a hissing sound coming from the pipes. This is possible even when the appliance is turned off. Typically, a hissing noise signifies a large natural gas leak.
- Air Bubbles Outside
Leaks can also occur in the underground piping for your natural gas system. If you notice bubbles forming in mud or puddles on your property, it could be a sign natural gas is leaking from underground pipes and coming up through the soil.
- Ill Plants
Natural gas can be deadly to your plants. The gas prevents a plant from absorbing the oxygen it needs into the root system. Stunted, dead or dying plants outside or inside your home could signify a gas leak. On your property, gas leaks may cause leaves on your trees to be smaller than normal and patches of grass that are yellow.
- Physical Symptoms Of Gas Poisoning
If you have a small leak, you may notice dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headaches and irregular breathing patterns. Long-term exposure to natural gas or high levels of the gas can cause worse symptoms such as severe headaches, extreme fatigue, nausea, loss of concentration, memory problems, and suffocation. Get in contact with a doctor right away if you believe your symptoms are related to natural gas exposure.
- Abnormally High Gas Usage
Another indication you may have a natural gas leak is an abnormally high gas bill. While seasonal increases in your natural gas usage are expected, unexplained increases should be looked into by a professional.
It is important for your family’s health and safety to regularly inspect your gas appliances for leaks or damage. Contact a professional as soon as possible with any concerns you may have