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Gas Leaks: Causes and What You Should Do If You Suspect One

gas-leak-causesLast summer, a number of Millcreek, Utah residents were evacuated from their homes due to a gas leak that occurred in their neighborhood. While these types of events are rare, they are scary and stress the fact that all homeowners should be aware of what causes gas leaks, how to prevent them, and what to do if you suspect a gas leak in your home.

While the aforementioned gas leak was from the main line, a very common cause of gas leaks is a Millcreek, UT heating system in disrepair. Today’s heating systems are built with your safety in mind, however if you do not keep up on maintenance, you run the risk of wear and tear breaking down the system until it does become a safety hazard.

Faulty Appliances or Piping

These are both factors that can contribute to a gas leak. There are a number of appliances in your home that likely use either natural gas or propane to create heat. As mentioned above, this can include your heating system. It can also include your water heater, dryer, stove, or fireplace.

As these appliances age, the seals that connect the piping can corrode and eventually create a gas leak. This is why maintenance is so vital! Of course, faulty piping can also be the cause—if you have an older home it’s likely that your piping will become corroded or even damaged over time.

Your Carbon Monoxide Risks

When fuel does not burn fully, carbon monoxide is released. In small amounts, this gas is harmless. However, a gas leak potentially exposes you to high amounts of this gas—to the point that it is poisonous and can cause serious illness or even death.

If You Suspect a Gas Leak

There are a couple signs that you may have a gas leak. For example, you may hear a hissing noise with no known cause. Or, you might smell the odor of rotten eggs—a smell that is added to your natural gas by the utility companies as it is otherwise odorless and tasteless. So, what if you do suspect a gas leak?

  • Do Not Turn Any Lights On or Off: This can create a spark that can ignite a fire or explosion, if you are in fact experiencing a gas leak in your home.
  • Put out Any “Naked” Flames: If you have a candle burning, it is safe to blow it out, to reduce the risk of a fire occurring. However, do not touch your gas stove or any other gas-powered appliances.
  • Turn Off Your Gas Supply: If you have quick access to your gas meter and know how to, turn off your gas supply and leave it switched off until you are instructed by a professional or emergency personnel that it is safe to turn it back on.
  • Exit Your Home and Call the Gas Company: Once safely evacuated from your home, use your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone to contact your utility company’s emergency line, or dial 911.

For more safety tips and exceptional service, contact Design Comfort today, and learn why our customers keep saying,

“I Love My Design Comfort!”

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