Natural gas is an efficient fuel often used for heating, providing hot water and cooking for homes and businesses alike. As long as your home’s natural gas lines and appliances are professionally installed and maintained, natural gas is a relatively safe energy source. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg certified gas specialists provide gas line installation, inspection and gas line repair in Houston.
However, as a volatile gas, there is a potential hazard associated with gas lines and appliances. Though rare, common hazards related to the use of natural gas are as follows:
- Asphyxiation due to gas leaks
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Asphyxiation due to inhalation of gas rarely occurs. When it does occur, it typically occurs during the night when occupants are sleeping. Adequate carbon monoxide detectors can prevent this unnecessary risk.
Faulty furnaces, hot water heaters and gas stoves are frequent offenders, producing deadly carbon monoxide gas. However, any gas appliance can potentially produce this deadly gas.
A frequent cause of carbon monoxide in the home is related to corrosion. Corrosion results in rust scale and holes in the combustion chamber creating a dangerous increase in risk from carbon monoxide to occupants. Blocked or damaged flues can cause dangerous carbon monoxide levels to accumulate in the home and are potentially fatal.
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms may include labored breathing, headache, nausea, confusion and chest pain, among others. If you or a family member experiences any of these symptoms, evacuate the home immediately and call 911. If you always get a headache at home, but not anywhere else it may be a symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is best to err on the side of caution and have a professional provide an inspection.
Explosion may occur in the presence of a leak and an ignition source. Ignition may occur due to any spark, such as an appliance cutting on, contact with flame or any other source that may create a spark.
The following tips regarding a natural gas safety inspection performed by a certified professional in gas line installation, inspection and gas line repair in Houston, will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as a natural gas explosion:
- Only licensed professionals should be used to provide gas line repair in Houston as well as to install gas lines and gas appliances.
- Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in your home, near bedrooms with a minimum of one on each floor.
- Have a qualified technician provide a gas line inspection for appliances that use natural gas once a year. This inspection should include vents, flues, and chimneys of all gas appliances and fireplaces are inspected to ensure proper ventilation of exhaust gases. Any fossil fuel emits carbon monoxide gases. For this reason don’t sleep in a room heated by a gas or kerosene space heater that does not have proper ventilation. Never use any heaters, stoves or barbecue grills intended for outdoor use in your home. Carbon monoxide can rapidly reach toxic levels. Remember to call ahead for any work that requires digging outside, homeowners should call their local utilities and request gas lines are marked before digging begins. Natural gas leaks rarely occur, but when it does leaks can rapidly become dangerous. In its natural state, natural gas is colorless and odorless; odors are added to the gas to help identify a leak.
If you suspect a gas leak:
- If you detect the odor of rotten eggs, garlic or a sulfur type odor, evacuate the home immediately and contact your gas provider or a professional for gas line repair in Houston. Get a safe distance from the home. Don’t use a phone in your home when a gas leak is present. Use a neighbor’s phone, or get a large distance away from the home to use a cell phone.
- Gas leaks can occur outside of the home in gas lines or meters. You may notice the odor outside. Watch for unseasonable dying of plants or grass near the gas line or meter, which may indicate a gas leak. If you note these signs contact your gas provider or a professional for gas line repair in Houston immediately.
- Gas stoves and ovens don’t ventilated to the outside, resulting in carbon dioxide being released into the home as the stove operates. Always use the vent hood fan when a gas stove is being used. Don’t use a gas oven to heat the house, as it can result in damage to the oven and cause carbon monoxide to be released into the home.
- Experts disagree on whether or not to shut the main gas valve outside of your home off or not, due to the extreme volatility of natural gas. In a gas filled home don’t take the time to shut individual appliances off. Even if an explosion doesn’t occur, gas can quickly overwhelm you and render you unconscious. Leave your home, and remove your family to safety, and call 911 well away from the home and the smell of gas. After calling 911 you can contact your gas provider or a professional for gas line repair in Houston.
- Don’t attempt to locate a gas leak. Leave it to professionals to provide gas line repair in Houston.
- Don’t turn on or off any electrical appliances, leave the home immediately.
- Don’t smoke or use any open flames.
If you damage a natural gas line when digging outside, call the gas provider or a professional for gas line repair in Houston immediately. Do not attempt to repair the gas line yourself.
Call the Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg professionals’ for plumbing, gas line installation, inspection and gas line repair in Houston. We back our exemplary services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.