Gas leaks are extraordinarily dangerous and not something to be taken lightly. In the past 3 years, gas leaks are responsible for nearly 50 deaths and well over 1,000 hospitalizations in the United States alone. Old appliances, incorrect installations, and leaky hoses are all easy to point to as the cause, but what are the symptoms? There are plenty of telltale signs that you have a gas leak in your home, and if you see even one of them, call your plumber immediately.
Natural gas leaks and carbon monoxide leaks are the two most common gas leaks in Las Vegas. Both can be devastating – carbon monoxide leaks can lead to severe brain damage and death, and natural gas leaks can cause explosions and fires. Nearly 1 in 6 homes in Las Vegas were found during a recent survey to have old or unsafe appliances, but most people surveyed had absolutely no idea they could be in danger.
The most easily detected sign that you might have a gas leak is, clearly, a smell of gas. If your house suddenly smells like a gas station or rotten eggs, it is time to immediately walk outside, turn off your gas supply from outside the home, and call an expert in. A home with a sudden or powerful smell of gas is in imminent danger, but even a few whiffs here and there that you’re tempted to brush off can be a sign of trouble. Leaky connections (such as the large hose that runs into your dryer) can cause serious home damage, and if ignited can easily explode.
A more difficult sign to see, but still an important one, is more attuned to your physical health. Sudden headaches, nausea, and dizziness is a sign that you may have a carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide detectors are affordable to purchase and something you should always have in your home, but if you don’t and think you’re experience a leak, take a step outside for some fresh air. If your symptoms vanish within a few minutes, you might have a serious problem inside the home. Before calling an experienced plumber in, open the windows and shut off the gas from outside the home. Airing out the home is crucial, as carbon monoxide left inside can cause serious brain damage and hallucinations.
Amongst these two common and easy to spot signs are smaller ones, such as plants unexpectedly dying or even dry spots in what is typically a moist environment (such as a patch in your garden that you just watered suddenly drying up). Gas leaks can occur inside and outside the home, so checking outside from time to time is just as important as paying attention to what’s happening inside. Keeping up with your appliances through regular maintenance, avoiding used or damaged appliances, and performing checks weekly on all gas-using appliances will mean you and your family continue to stay safe.