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 keep your home safe. Ensuring your gas installations and appliances are properly installed, for example. And also if it is well maintained.

That being said, here's what you need to know about gas safety, including identifying leaks and what to do about it.

Why are Gas Leaks Dangerous?

Being lighter than air, natural gas can quickly disperse throughout the home. And due to its highly flammable nature, it 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.

Apart from that, 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 to protect yourself and your family from gas leaks? There are several useful safety precautions you can take.

Here’s how.

  • First, always ensure that a licensed gas fitter installs all your gas appliances. Portable gas appliances such as barbecues and patio heaters—while not requiring installation by a licensed gas fitter—should be installed according to the manufacturer's assembly instructions and ensure that all tubes are tightly connected.

    On the other hand, if you are not confident in doing this, get a qualified professional to assemble your griller and check connections regularly to ensure they are tight and not leaking gas. More generally, it is best practice to have all gas appliances serviced at least every two years so they remain in top condition.
  • As far as pipe maintenance is concerned, make sure you have your gas pipes checked annually. Keep in mind that a lot of accidents happen due to old and worn gas pipes. Also, remember that you cannot keep a close eye on pipes in your roof or under the floor, so it is 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 BBQs and patio heaters are never used indoors.

    If you have not 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.
How to Detect Gas Leak

Just because you cannot smell, see, or hear gas leaks does not mean that there is not one. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is 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 Should I Do If I Detect Gas Leak

If you detect a gas leak, the safest thing is to leave the area. Do not do anything that can create a spark, such as an active 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 the source of the 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, Level Plumbing Canberra knows how to respond effectively to confirm your leak, locate the source and secure your property.

If you suspect a gas leak, call us now at (02) 6188 6088 immediately for an on-the-spot quote.