Natural gas is an odorless, colorless gas that is highly combustible, making it an excellent heating source as it burns easier and uses less fuel to achieve the same level of heat as other fuels. This however makes it extremely dangerous in the case of a leak in your home. Here are a few tips on what to do in the event of a leak.
Since Natural Gas is odorless and colorless, the gas utilities insert an additive into it to give it smell similar to rotten eggs.
If you smell Natural Gas, first do not use any electronic devices while in the home.
Immediately put out any flames, do not unplug any appliances, and leave the home as quickly as possible.
Unplugging or plugging in an appliance that uses Natural Gas, thinking if I unplug it the leak will stop, could result in a spark being created.
Once outside it is safe to use a cell phone to call 911.
Natural Gas leaks can be caused by digging in the yard and puncturing a Natural Gas line.
If you puncture the Natural Gas line, leave the area as quickly as possible and call 911. Make sure that no one else enters the area around the leak.
Propane Safety Tips
Propane, like Natural Gas, is an odorless and colorless gas naturally. For the purpose of detection, additives are mixed with the gas to give it the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs.
When Gas Doctor comes to install your Propane tank, we will discuss safety tips that are associated with Propane gas.
Propane is delivered as a cold liquid and then changes to a gas before it leaves the tank.
Our tanks are colored white to reflect the sunlight to maintain a lower temperature and relieve the tank from pressure associated with heat.
If the tank does have too much pressure the safety relief valve will pop open to release the pressure. The valve will automatically close when the pressure has reached an appropriate level.
The shutoff valve will always be located on top of your propane tank, depending on the size access may vary
For horizontal tanks, a cover will rest over the shutoff valve and fill connector. To access the shutoff valve simply lift the cover up.
For standing propane tanks, the shutoff valve is located at the top of the tank.
To shutoff the propane, turn the valve clockwise to close.
How to detect a propane gas leak?
This is a little harder than natural gas in rare situations. Propane, like Natural Gas, is odorized for detection. In rare cases, the odor can be lost or will fade over time. This is caused by a variety of reasons:
Air, water, or rust in the propane tank can reduce the concentration of the propane odor.
If the leak originates underground, the soil the propane travels through can filter the smell out.
The odor additive can stick to the inside surface of the piping and distribution application.
What do you do if you do smell propane gas?
Do not light matches, flip switches, operate appliances, or use electronic devices.
If there are any open flames extinguish them.
Shut off the supply of gas at the tank.
Call the Gas Doctor and we'll determine what the cause of the leak is.
If we can not respond quickly please call 911 once you are out of the area and you are a safe distance from your home.
What do you do if you run out of Propane?
We hope that you don't run out of fuel, but in the event that you do run out of Propane, this can become a dangerous situation.
You should always try to maintain a level of propane, this can be done through us with automatic delivery.
Shut off the main supply valve at your tank(s).
Shut off all appliance burners and pilot valves. If your appliances remain open a leak can start when your tank is refilled.
Air and moisture can easily get into your tank, causing a greater chance of rust.
Have the Gas Doctor perform a mandatory leak check, turn back on your appliances and light any pilot.
What should you do if your Pilot light goes out?
We highly recommend that you don't touch or try to relight a pilot light if it goes out. Contact the Gas Doctor and we'll send over one of our trained service technicians to light the pilot.