How to Detect a Gas Leak

Learning how to detect a gas leak early can save you and your family’s lives.

How to Detect a Gas Leak

According to the Gas Safe Register, there had been 31 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries in the last three years that resulted from gas leaks. They also said that one in every six homes they have inspected had one unsafe appliance.

Gas leaks are serious and can be fatal. In addition to the deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks can also cause house fires and gas explosions. Appliances that are not properly installed or maintained usually lead to a gas leak. However, if you know how to detect a gas leak early, you can leave your home before the situation gets worse. Such is the story of the gas explosion that happened in Upper Arlington, OH earlier this year. In March of this year, the police received a call around 12:46 pm from the neighbor of the home that would eventually explode in two hours.

How to detect a gas leak: be wary of the following signs

  • A rotten egg odor.
  • Discolored or dead vegetation over or near the pipeline.
  • A hissing, whistling or roaring sound near a gas appliance or pipeline.
  • Dirt or debris being blown into the air.
  • Persistent bubbles in streams, ponds or wet areas.
  • Flames (if a leak has ignited).

If you detect a gas leak, evacuate the area immediately and warn others not to enter the area. From a safe location, call the police, fire department or your local gas company. At the same time, DO NOT:

  • turn natural gas valves on or off
  • turn any electric switch on or off; this could cause a spark and ignite the gas
  • use your telephone, cell phone, garage door opener or flashlight
  • smoke, use a lighter or strike a match
  • start or stop nearby vehicles, machinery, or other things that may spark

If you are not sure how to detect a gas leak but you suspect one, call your local gas company right away.