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What to Do if You Have a Gas Leak

Gas leaks aren’t a problem you should ignore. No matter the size of the leak, you need it attended to immediately by a gas fitter. When you smell gas or suspect a leak for other reasons, here are some steps you should take.

If You Smell Gas Inside Your Home or Property:

When you smell gas inside your home, your first step should be to evacuate everyone outside. Open all your doors and windows as you move out to increase ventilation. This will allow gas to escape your home so it is less concentrated and less dangerous.

When you have a gas leak you must keep people away from the area. Extinguish any flames nearby and do not operate or turn on any electrical appliances. If it is safe to do so, you should attempt turning off your power at the electricity meter box as an extra precaution.

If your home uses natural gas, you’ll want to turn all your gas appliances off and then turn your gas meter off as well. The gas meter is usually found in a metal box attached to the outside of your home. It is often opposite your driveway or in front of your garden. To turn it off you’ll need to turn the valve 90 degrees so it is in a horizontal position. For homes that run off of liquid petroleum gas, or LPG, you’ll need to turn this cylinder off.

Once outside and with the gas turned off, it’s time to call in a fully licensed gas fitter to locate and repair the leak.

If You Smell Gas Outside Your Home or Property:

If you begin to smell gas around your gas meter or the pipes leading up to it, you’ll need to turn your gas meter off. Remove all sources of ignition including flames and electrical devices. These include hot water system pilot lights, mobile phones, cigarettes, lighters and more.

Your gas provider deals with gas leaks outside of your property. Inform them of the leak and evacuate the area until they arrive to help.  Keep others away from the area and do not use any electrical devices near the leak that could cause a spark. These could be an ignition source and start a fire. 

Gas Appliance Warning Signs

Your gas appliances might begin to show some warning signs before a gas leak is even noticeable:

  • Your gas is burning yellow rather than blue (except some flame effect heaters)
  • You will see soot in or around the appliance
  • The flame is burning in the wrong direction
  • Unpleasant smells

When you identify these signs you can have a gas fitter out to service your appliances. This can prevent them from becoming a bigger risk.

How to Find a Gas Leak

Gas leaks are very dangerous and should be left to a qualified gas fitter. Your gas fitter will have the tools, skills and experience required to locate and repair a gas leak. A manometer will confirm the presence of a leak. It can then be used to identify pressure irregularities to locate its source. 

Depending on the extent of the damage, your gas fitter will repair or replace the pipe or appliance. 

If you suspect you have a gas leak, it is important you do not attempt any of the following:

  • Locating the gas leak with a naked flame or electrical device
  • Operate electrical equipment near a leak
  • Turn on/off switches, phones, flashlights or any other electrical devices that could cause a spark
  • Smoke or use a lighter or match stick 

Attempting to find a gas leak without the proper tools and techniques could put your home and family at great risk. Gas is flammable and a small spark could lead to a devastating fire or explosion. 

If you suspect a gas leak in your home, contact Metropolitan Plumbing and we can have a fully licensed gas fitter at your door an hour from your call*.

Published: 20 Jul, 2020

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