Roughly 17 people die every year because of natural gas leaks. This might sound like a small number — until, of course, one of those 17 is a friend or family member. And even if fatalities associated with gas leaks are low, the health consequences that they cause must be taken seriously. In short, in order to avoid injury, illness, or disaster, you need to know the signs of a gas leak to watch out for.
That’s what this post is all about. We’ll also tell you what you need to do if you suspect that your home or place of work has a gas leak.
1. You Smell Something Nasty
One of the most recognizable signs of a gas leak? The slightly sulfuric smell of rotten eggs.
If you suspect that the stink isn’t coming from your trash can or your refrigerator, then it could be coming from natural gas that has somehow leaked into your home. We know what you’re thinking: isn’t natural gas naturally without any kind of odor? Yes — but remember that mercaptan has been added to the gas. This was done specifically so that it would be easier for people to recognize the signs of a gas leak in a house. If you notice this smell, leave your property immediately. Call in an emergency service or a gas line repair professional. You don’t want to run the risk of a gas explosion.
2. You Hear an Odd Sound
So, maybe you don’t yet smell anything like rotten eggs in your home. Instead, perhaps you’ve noticed that there seems to be a strange, soft hissing sound. This sound, even more oddly, seems to be coming from behind your walls. You might also notice that the hissing sound originates around your pipes. This is another common sign of a natural gas leak. What you’re actually hearing is the sound of the gas consistently leaking from the pipe itself. If you notice this, don’t use your phone inside your home, turn any light switches on or off, or light any sort of a flame. Also, make sure that you don’t use any appliances in your kitchen until you’re certain that the leak is fixed. Leave your home, and call in a professional while staying at a neighbor’s house.
3. You Feel Sick
It might come as a surprise to many that there are serious physical side effects that may indicate gas leaks in your home. Things like a sudden loss of appetite, nosebleed, feelings of dizzinesses, and even exhaustion are all common gas leak symptoms. You may also notice that you seem to be dealing with ringing in your ears, or sometimes, even pain in your chest. The same thing goes if recently, you’ve been having trouble breathing, or if you’ve experienced an uptick in the number and severity of headaches you get. In some cases, you may even notice that you feel depressed, sad, or even angry. If you’ve been to your doctor, and they can’t diagnose another problem with your health, err on the side of caution and have a gas leak inspection done.
4. Your Lawn Doesn’t Look so Good
If you’re concerned that you might be dealing with a natural gas leak, don’t just take a look for signs on the inside of your home. You should also look at your lawn/yard, especially in the area surrounding the meter. Have you noticed that there are tons of dead flies and other insects around it? What about the lawn itself? Are there green and brown patches throughout the lawn, but especially as you get closer to the meter? If you have plants over the meter, are they starting to wilt, turn brown, or die? This is a likely indication that you’ve got a gas leak on your hands. What’s happening is that the gas around the meter is leaking. This means that they’re no longer able to get the oxygen they need in order to survive.
5. Your Bills Have Gone way Up
Of course, we know that the signs of a gas leak that you’re the most likely to notice relate directly to your finances. Have you noticed that, lately, your gas bills have been way higher than normal? Have you been on vacation for a week or so, only to return to gas bills that are through the roof? Especially if you haven’t been cooking more than usual, or haven’t experienced any other change in your gas consumption, there could be a problem.
It’s likely that a leak within your gas pipes is what’s responsible for this sudden hit to your wallet. To be sure, take a look at the exterior of your meter. You might notice that there’s some serious rust built up around it. This is a sign that it’s time to seek professional help to deal with your gas leak.
Don’t Ignore These Signs of a Gas Leak
Whether you notice that tell-tale rotten egg smell, or if you spot dead patches of vegetation and grass on your lawn, you need to take the signs of a gas leak seriously.
The last thing in the world that you want to do is end up putting the health and safety of your pets and family members at risk. In addition to knowing the signs of a gas leak in a house, you also need to know who you can call to handle it. We want to be the people that you rely on. Spend some time on our website to learn more about the gas leak services and routine inspections that we offer. Then, get in touch with us to schedule your service appointment. Don’t wait.