Do you know how to use a gas leak detector? As a responsible homeowner, you should! While gas leaks in the home are rare, they can still occur. According to the National Fire Protection Association, around 200 people die each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. In comparison, almost 6000 people die from smoke inhalation deaths caused by gas leaks.
Detecting gas leaks can be tricky for several reasons. First, gas moves very quickly through an area; a small gas leak can rapidly fill several rooms, especially if there are no doors or windows to trap the gas leak in one room. Second, gases can be difficult to detect, especially if the gases do not have obvious telltale signs such as color or a strong odor. Some manufacturers even add chemicals into their gas to give it a strong smell similar to sulfur or rotten eggs. In this article, you will learn how to use a gas leak detector and the dangers of a gas leak.
Why Are Gas Leaks Dangerous?
As mentioned above, detecting gas leaks can be difficult. This means that you could have a gas leak in your home, and you could be exposed to the gas without you even knowing it! Being exposed to gas leaks for a long time could lead to two potential dangers in the home.
The use of natural gasses in the home is popular and widespread because it is easy to install a natural gas line, and the gas has high combustibility. Unfortunately, this also means that the gas can easily combust if the line is not installed properly or if it breaks. Even a tiny spark can ignite a huge fire if there is enough trapped gas in a room. What’s more, the fire will spread quickly everywhere there is gas.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If the natural gas does not combust completely, carbon monoxide is produced. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, making it difficult to detect. If you don’t catch carbon monoxide buildup in your home, the gas can accumulate in your body. Prolonged exposure to high carbon monoxide levels can result in dizziness, vision problems, difficulty in breathing, nausea, and muscle fatigue. If you are exposed long enough, it can even become lethal. However, even non-lethal exposure can cause long-term health issues such as brain or lung damage.
How to Use a Gas Leak Detector
There are several kinds of gas leak detectors on the market. If you’re on a budget, you can use a cheap gas leak detector like the Oatey Gas Leak Detector. This product is a liquid that you smear on your gas lines to help you find gas leaks. Using the brush, apply the soapy liquid to the gas line, particularly around the joints. If there are any leaks, you will see bubbles forming on the surface of the liquid.
If you want something a bit more reliable and sensitive, you can opt for something like the PNG2000A Combustible Gas Leak Detector Pen. This pen is designed to detect natural gas, butane, and propane. It has an extremely sensitive detector, and it can detect gas leaks that are as small as 5% below the lower explosive limit. The pen has a LED signal: green means no leak, yellow means low alarm level, and red means a high alarm level. It only needs a few seconds to detect gas leaks, and two AA batteries power it.
No matter which product you chose, you need to know how to use the gas leak detector properly to keep your family and property safe.
Where Can Gas Leaks Come from My Home?
There are several areas in your home that are more prone to having gas leaks. Your kitchen, of course, is the most obvious place. However, even your bathroom, living room, and your basement are all prone to having gas leaks, especially if your home uses a heating system that relies on natural gases since you won’t be able to monitor areas such as your basement and bathroom continuously, You need to know how to use gas leak detectors that use noise to sound the alarm when gas leaks are detected.
What If I Don’t Have a Gas Leak Detector?
If you don’t have a gas leak detector, here are some of the signs that you should look out to signal a gas leak in your home:
- Turn off your fans and air conditioning units.
- Try to locate if anything smells off such as rotting eggs or sulfur.
- Look for dead or discolored plants.
- If you’re suddenly feeling dizzy, nauseous, lightheaded, or your vision is blurring.
If you’re noticing any of these signs, you won’t need to know how to use a gas leak detector. Evacuate your home and call 911. In cases of possible gas leaks, it is better to be safe than to be sorry!
What to Do When a Gas Leak Is Detected
If your gas leak detector is sounding the alarm, here is what you should do:
- Turn off all electronics and appliances.
- Turn off the lights.
- Evacuate your home.
- Call 911.
- Call your gas company so that they can send a professional to check the leak.
Gas leaks might be rare, but they are dangerous when they do occur. Thus, you need to know how to use a gas leak detector to locate gas leaks in time. If you’re hearing a hissing sound or smelling rotten eggs, these are obvious signs of a gas leak. However, if your home uses odorless gas or the line worn out, the signs of a gas leak might not be obvious. In this case, you need to use a gas leak detector to ensure a gas leak in your home. Find out more about Gas Detectors.