A natural gas leak in your home isn’t something you want to deal with. It’s messy, dangerous and could potentially lead to a non-functioning furnace, or worse. In short, you want to take care of it ASAP. Here’s what you need to do if you suspect there is a gas leak in your home.
Turn off the gas
As soon as you hear that hissing sound, turn off the gas that’s leaking and call a licensed plumber. If you have an electric furnace, switch it off, too. Stand back and keep an eye on the gas meter If you see it, move away from the meter so that any gas in the air doesn’t flow into your home. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re indoors, get out quickly If you’re in a home with a gas leak, get out of the home. Be sure to shut doors and windows. If you have an animal, call a pet-friendly friend or neighbor. If you don’t have anyone nearby, call 911. If the gas smell is very strong, move to a safe area If you feel light-headed or dizzy, it could mean there’s a natural gas leak. Hold your nose closed for 30 seconds or so and leave.
Ventilate the area
Take a look around to make sure you aren’t causing the gas to spread and find the leak. It should be coming from either your kitchen or the basement, and moving away from your house. The leak can take many forms, including bubbles in the gas lines, flames shooting out of an open space, or out of an appliance like a hot water heater. If you find a flamethrower or one of these other sources, head to a window to shut it tightly before opening the door to your home. You can also call a professional if you don’t have access to a window. Open all doors and windows If your house isn’t losing gas through one source, it’s most likely escaping through your doors and windows. Check them for cracks and holes, and consider caulking them.
Call The Gas Company
If you’ve been given the OK by the gas company to enter your home to look for the source of the leak, they will do it. But don’t count on them to do it right away. “They will try to get you in the door first, but then they will give you a call, depending on how busy they are, and say we’ll try to get you in the door today,” explained Mark Kropp, a technical director with Oregon Gas of Oregon. Follow Their Instructions Get your family out of the home. Don’t try to stop the leak yourself. “You’ll get drenched in natural gas if you try to do that,” Kropp told HuffPost. “They’ll have the gas leak detector in their hand. They’ll go to a room and stop it and then they’ll call you,” he said. “They’ll say you can go in there, but it’s not safe. So they’re the ones making that call.