How to Prevent Gas Explosions: Top Prevention Tips
Most people have heard at least a few horror stories about natural gas explosions from all over North America. One of the most recent tragedies occurred in Massachusetts in September and resulted in the death of one person. These events have led to an increased level of consumer and professional awareness surrounding the use of natural gas heating in Halifax and other areas of the country.
The number one priority for any professional who works with natural gas heating is the safety of customers and technicians. This means properly training service personnel and performing regular maintenance on all gas boilers and heaters. The best way to stop a tragedy is to take preventative measures, and this is what working with a licensed and insured company can do. Other top prevention tips include:
Check All the Natural Gas-Fed Appliances in Your Home
Regularly check your stove, hot water heater, or gas fireplace connections to make sure that they are properly attached and not leaking. Hissing, an odour of gas and unexplained neurological symptoms can all point to a natural gas leak somewhere in your home. If you suspect this, immediately call for help. Tighten any loose connections and try to ventilate the area. If the odour is strong or you feel sick, get outside the home as quickly as possible and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
Do Not Ignite the Gas!
This may sound like a common-sense tip, but many people don’t understand how many ignition sources there actually are in their homes. Avoid turning on any lights as this can cause a tiny spark that is enough to set off an explosion. Blow out any candles and put out any open flames as long as you feel safe doing so. Always keep a flashlight handy for emergency situations. This simple tip can make a big difference, especially if you suspect a gas leak at night.
Let in Fresh Air
Natural gas can be fatal when inhaled in excess and can build up slowly in a home undetected. All it takes is time or a single spark for the entire situation to go from dangerous to deadly. Gas companies have ‘odorized” gas, giving it that distinct smell that allows people to notice when it begins leaking into their home. If you are aware of the source of the leak and it has been stopped, you will need to open windows and turn on fans to increase ventilation. If the smell is too strong, consider leaving for a while to let the building air out.
Shut Off the Gas Main
Every home should have a meter or access pipe where natural gas enters their home. Ask your gas company or plumbing and heating technician where the shutoff valve is located, and how to operate it. This gives you the power to shut off natural gas to your home in the event of a leak or emergency situation. Don’t try this unless you absolutely have to and know what you are doing.
Put Distance Between Yourself and the Property
If you suspect a natural gas leak that is not easily explained by an unlit pilot or stove burner that has been left on, call emergency services right away and get out of the home. Get as far away as possible to protect yourself and your family in the event of an explosion and meet with emergency responders to give them information about the possible gas leak.
For more information on natural gas safety, contact the professionals at Parker Plumbing and Heating Ltd. We provide fully licensed and insured gas boiler service and repair in Halifax, complete with a 1-year warranty.