Natural Gas Leaks at Your Home

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Natural Gas Leaks

If you smell gas call 911 and your gas service provider and leave the area.

If you have a natural gas leak in your home you should notice a rotten egg smell. This is caused by the odorant that is added to the natural gas before being piped to your home. Natural gas does not have a smell or odor on its own it is odorless and colorless. The rotten egg smell is there to alert you there is a gas leak. Natural gas besides being flammable can also displace the oxygen which causes asphyxia. You can suffocate from a natural gas leak. If you have a gas leak open the windows and doors and do not turn on off any electrical switches. Do not use the phone inside. Locate your shut off valve and turn off the gas if you know how. Call 911 and the gas company if you have anything but a very minor gas leak. If the gas leak is at an appliance turn off the valve to the appliance and ventilate the area.

 

Natural gas is made up mostly of methane gas when burned correctly it gives off mostly water and some carbon monoxide. It is very important to keep your appliances in good working conditions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Properly working appliances that are vented correctly are very safe. Around 500 people a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Statistics provide by the CDC.

 

If your home has natural gas service we recommend carbon monoxide detectors. Detectors work while you sleep and alert you before you might smell gas. If your home suffers a lightning strike while you are sleeping this could save your life. A near lightning strike not a direct one can damage your plumbing and gas systems. This happens to peoples homes every day. Local news stations are always reporting a house fire from a lightning strike. Did you know that a lot of these homes were not struck directly? The lightning strike was across the street or at the utility pole. If your home has CSST gas piping a lightning strike can pin hole the piping and cause a leak or worse in some cases. Don’t let a lightning strike in the middle of the night catch you off guard. Lightning strikes can also damage the plumbing under your home. A water leak is a different kind of emergency.

 

Digging outside is another area were you might encounter a gas leak or gas line. Before you dig in the North Texas area call 1-800-DIG-TESS. Did you know if you damage a natural gas line in Texas you have to report it immediately if it is not reported within 10 days you might be subject to a fine. DIG-TESS is a free service so why not call. They will come out and locate the utilities on your property free of charge to you. It’s the law to locate before you dig Texas Utilities Code Title 5 Chapter 251.

 

If you have a gas leak outdoors report it as soon as possible. Gas leaks outside or underground have gotten into the sewer service and into homes. Here in North Texas in the town of McKinney a few homes were lost this way. This happened in 2008 and three homes in the 600 block of Fernet Street. Gas entered the sewer and from the sewer entered the residents. The homes exploded when the HVAC system started. If you smell gas leaking outside call your local fire department. One way to locate a small gas leak in the yard service is a patch of dead grass. Some homeowners have been surprised digging in the yard by a gas leak. DIG-TESS does not sound so bad now.

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