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What to Do Right Now if You Have a Gas Leak
Follow these 5 simple steps to ensure your home—and your family—is safe and secure
Even a professionally installed gas line or pipe can break, crack or leak. Whether it’s from shifting soil, corrosion underground or, even, a tree root growing and damaging the line, there are plenty of common causes—and, often, homeowners have no warning until it’s too late.
Spotting a gas leak before it’s too late
One of the most common signs of a gas leak is a strong sulfuric smell—many describe it as a “rotten eggs” smell. If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs, get in touch. Our expert team can assess your gas line and determine next steps.
Other common signs of gas leaks include:
- A hissing or whistling sound near the line itself
- A cloud of dust or white mist near the line
- Bubbles in your water
- Dead houseplants
- Visible damage to your gas line, pipe or the ground around it
Another tell-tale sign is consistent, higher-than-normal gas bills. When lines leaks, gas escapes from the pipe versus reaching your home and appliances. This, then, requires pushing more gas to your property to keep the heating running and appliances functioning, which raises your bill immediately.
Other homeowners may notice physical symptoms, especially if the gas leak has been going on for some time. If tied to a gas leak, these symptoms are very serious and should not be ignored. Look for signs in your, family members or other people who frequent your home—even if just one person shows symptoms of a leak, get professional help immediately. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Fatigue or frequent, heavy drowsiness
- Eye or throat irritation
- Ringing in ears
- Decreased appetite
- Mood changes or depression
- Other flu-like symptoms
Pets may even experience symptoms of gas leaks. Look for marked changes in behavior, disorientation, red or watering eyes, vomiting, lack of appetite or marked lethargy, or any other strange behavior or symptoms.
What to do if you suspect a gas leak
If you or someone in your home is experiencing any of these symptoms, DON’T WAIT. Follow these steps immediately to ensure you, your loved ones and your home are safe.
#1. Evacuate your home NOW
If you suspect a gas leak, LEAVE. Don’t wait until the next day to see if things change and don’t second guess yourself. Your priority should always be to yourself and your loved ones. The worst case scenario? You evacuate and there’s no leak—but better to be safe than to be sorry, especially when you’re talking about gas leaks. Even a minor leak can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and explosions, all of which can be deadly.
#2. Stop using electrical devices
Again, even a small gas leak can lead to fires or explosions—and a spark from any electrical device, phone or light could do the trick.
As you’re evacuating, don’t touch any electrical devices—even light switches. If something is on, leave it on. If it’s off, leave it off. Your goal is to prevent any sparks, and even turning something off could trigger it. Leave everything as is and go.
#3. Leave your doors open
As you exit your home, leave windows and doors open. While this won’t stop the gas leak, it will help some of the gas escape which can help curb the risk to your home and property.
#4. Call your gas company—and 911
Once you’re at a safe distance from your home, call 911 and your gas company. The fire department and your gas company can both inspect and get your gas line shut off. From there, teams can inspect your property, your gas line and ensure everything is safe and secure before granting you access.
#5. Call Choate’s ASAP
After any emergency leaks have been dealt with, contact Choate’s. Our expert technicians and install teams can assess your current gas line and pipes and determine safe, efficiency next steps to get your gas running again. Whether it’s a new installation or simple repairs, we’ll ensure your home is heated and appliances are ready for use ASAP, while helping curb future risk.
Contact Choate’s Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing for an expert gas line evaluation. By identifying potential risk, we can help curb future leaks and keep your lines running effectively, efficiently and safely. Get in touch to learn more and schedule your maintenance check.
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