How To Detect A Gas Leak Outside Your Home
Gas is an essential commodity that we use for cooking, heating, and for powering our automobiles. While gas is safe to use when handled properly, even a small leak could result in an explosion, putting your life and the lives of your loved ones in danger. Therefore, it is essential that you know how to detect a gas leak outside your home. This article will provide you with the steps you need to take to detect gas leaks in your yard and the frequently asked questions about gas leaks.
How to Detect a Gas Leak Outside Your Home
There are several signs of a gas leak outside your home. Here are some of the most common ways to detect gas leaks:
1. Listen for Hissing Sounds
One of the easiest ways to notice a gas leak outside your home is to listen for hissing sounds. When gas escapes from the pipeline, it creates a hissing sound that can easily be heard from a distance. If you hear a hissing sound outside the house, do not turn on any lights and immediately turn off the main gas supply valve.
2. Smell for a Rotten Egg Smell
One of the most evident symptoms of a gas leak is the smell of rotten eggs. Natural gas is odorless, but utility companies add a chemical called mercaptan to make it easily detectable. If you can smell a rotten egg smell outside your home, it is time to take action. Do not switch on any electrical appliances or use your mobile phone. Evacuate the area and call the gas company immediately.
3. Check for Dead Plants
If plants in your yard are dying for no apparent reason, it could be a sign of a gas leak. Gas leaks could suffocate plants by cutting off oxygen supply to their roots. If you notice dead plants, it is advisable to get a professional to inspect before entering the affected area.
4. Look for Patches of Dead Grass
In the same way, natural gas can kill plants, so can it affect your grass. If patches of grass in your yard are turning brown for no reason, it could be a sign of a gas leak. Grass is a natural detector of gas leaks, and a patch of dead grass is a strong sign of a gas leak.
5. Check Your Utility Bills
If you notice an unnatural increase in your monthly gas bill, it could be as a result of a gas leak outside your home. A gas leak would result in the wastage of gas that would result in an abrupt increase in your gas bill.
6. Observe White Mist or Fog
When natural gas escapes from a pipeline, the immediate environment could form a white mist or fog. This gas leak symptom occurs where there is a pool of gas on the ground. This could lead to dangerous situations as the gas could be ignited by any form of spark.
What to Do if You Detect a Gas Leak Outside Your Home
If you detect a gas leak outside your home, it is essential to follow these steps.
1. Evacuate the Area
If you detect a gas leak outside your home, leave the area immediately with all your family members and pets. Do not turn on or off any electrical appliances or devices, including light switches.
2. Call the Gas Company
Once you are safe, call your gas company and report the gas leak. They will send an emergency team to the location to turn off the gas supply and fix the leak. Do not attempt to fix the leak by yourself as this could be dangerous.
3. Do Not Light Up a Fire
Do not light up any matches, smoke, or use any form of fire until the gas company confirms that the area is safe. Natural gas is flammable and could ignite even if there is a small spark.
4. Keep the Windows and Doors Open
While waiting for the emergency team to arrive, it is important to keep the windows and doors of your home open. This would allow the gas to exit your home and reduce the likelihood of any potential ignition or explosion.
FAQs on Gas Leaks Outside Your Home
Q: What is causing the gas leak outside my home?
A: Gas leaks outside homes can be caused by a variety of factors such as improper installation of gas lines, aging pipelines, and natural wear and tear.
Q: What should I do if I smell gas outside my home?
A: If you smell gas outside your home, evacuate the area immediately, and call the gas company.
Q: How can I avoid gas leaks outside my home?
A: One way to avoid gas leaks outside your home is to conduct regular maintenance and inspections. Also, it is important to ensure that all appliances that use gas are installed and maintained by professionals.
Q: How long does it take for a gas leak to be fixed?
A: The time it takes for a gas leak to be fixed depends on the severity of the leak. However, gas companies prioritize emergency gas leaks and will work to fix the leak as quickly as possible.
Q: What should I do if there is a gas leak outside my home and I cannot evacuate the area?
A: If there is a gas leak outside your home and you cannot evacuate the area, open all windows and doors, and immediately call the gas company.