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Gas Leaks

Gas leaks are a major cause of fires, explosions, and serious property damage.

Everyone should prepare as much as possible for different types of emergencies and try to recognize signs that signal something may be about to happen that can have disastrous results such as an explosion or a flash fire that may result in serious burns and/or death.

What are some of the most effective tips for recognizing gas leaks and doing what it takes to prevent them from becoming disasters? What do you do if you smell gas, hear the sound of gas escaping from a pipe, or see, smell, hear, or recognize other signs of a leak?

Gas has a distinctive odor that smells like rotten eggs.

(1) First and foremost, if you smell gas, hear a hissing or roaring sound, see water or soil flying up near a pipe, or notice dead grass or plants around your meter or gas line, contact your gas company immediately.

(2) Do not light a match or turn any electrical device on or off. If the smell of gas is strong, or you feel that it is unsafe, you should evacuate the area immediately.

(3) Before there is an emergency, you should know where your gas meter is located.

(4) Know how to shut your gas off. Keep an adjustable wrench at a location near the meter and know how to use it.

(5) Periodically check your gas lines, hot water heater and appliances for leaks and make sure your vents are working properly.

(6) Replace old, rigid type pipes with more flexible tubing that is approved by your local gas company. If you know your appliances are old and worn out, replace them as soon as possible.

(7) If you smell an unusual odor while your appliances are on, turn them off immediately.

(8) You may want to get children, people who are disabled, and elderly persons out of the house if there is a strong smell of gas or other signs that there may be a leak.

(9) Contact your gas company and have them inspect your current gas lines, hot water heater, and other gas appliances. A periodic inspection can be the action that prevents a fire or explosion.

In most areas, local gas companies are responsible for maintaining lines that carry gas to meters. But if you are a property owner, tenant, property manager, or occupant of a property, you are responsible for the gas lines on your side of the meter. These lines include those that run into your home to supply gas to appliances, heaters, hot water heaters, swimming pools, spas, built in barbecues, or other appliances that use gas.

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