Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the scariest and most dangerous things that can happen at home is a gas leak. While a fire is obvious, and an electric shock is instant, knowing what to do in a gas leak is a lot more difficult – for the simple reason that you might not even know it’s even happening.
Sure, gas is highly flammable and explosive, but before it goes ‘bang’ it really requires a period in which the leak is slowly but surely occurring. If minor enough, it can be hard to detect the rotten egg-like smell of the chemical additive mercaptan, but if you breathe enough of it in, exposure to natural gas or LPG can have adverse health effects that are even fatal.
Signs of a gas leak
So before we can even mention what to do in a gas leak, you’ll need to know how to tell if you have a leak in the first place – so you can take urgent action.
- The smell: If you smell a skunk at home, or you can’t figure out where that rotten egg has apparently rolled to, you may be smelling mercaptan – the chemical that is deliberately added to both natural gas and LPG.
- The sound: Do you hear hissing? Whistling? If it’s near a gas pipe, meter or appliance, an active gas leak may be underway.
- The sights: Are you noticing dead or dying plants near the gas meter or bottle? Leaking gas could be the culprit, and if it’s combined with a fog or mist in the air, especially on a cold day, be doubly worried.
- The feelings: If you’re feeling a bit off every time you’re at home for a while – like a headache, dizziness, fatigue or difficulty breathing – get out of the enclosed space and turn off the gas immediately.
What to do if you have a gas leak
So if you’re pretty sure your home and family could be in the midst of an active gas leak, time is of the essence – and the only good time to react is RIGHT NOW. Here’s what you should do straight away:
1. Don’t use anything
Assume that the room you’re in, and all of the others, has already started to fill up with highly flammable and toxic gas – which could go off like a bomb at any moment. So make sure you don’t flick on a light switch, an appliance, or even your phone – because all it may take is a single spark.
2. Open the doors
Don’t worry, we’re about to evacuate. But before you do that, rush to open up as many doors and windows as can be easily and quickly opened – because natural ventilation will quite quickly and dramatically drive down the risk of an explosion.
It’s time to get out of there. Grab every occupant of the house or premises and – to really be on the safe side – get 100 metres away from a building that could well go ‘bang’ at any moment.
4. Turn off the gas
On the way to your safe location 100 metres away, stop by the mains gas supply valve or the LPG bottles – if it’s visibly safe to do so – and switch them off. That way, if you do have a leak, it will at least not get any worse.
5. Make some calls
After ‘gas leak what to do’, one of the biggest internet search terms relating to gas leaks is ‘gas leak who to call’. And because getting the professional help you need is just so important amid an active gas emergency, let’s run through all of the calls you should make in order of priority:
- Emergency services: If there’s no doubt it’s an emergency, don’t hesitate for a second before calling 000. The responders will know what to do next.
- Emergency gas fitter: The best local gas fitters near you operate around-the-clock with highly attentive 24/7 emergency plumbing services, so it’s time to make that call. They stay cool and calm as they rush to assess the situation, isolate the gas supply, locate and repair the leak and then test the remedy for safety.
- Gas retailer: Who’s your gas retailer? Google their emergency line for gas faults and emergencies to report what’s going on, and they may dispatch a technician to assess the situation.
- Gas fitter/plumber/tradie: Once the emergency is over, you may have some repairs that need to be done to your gas appliances or other home infrastructure.
Also consider calling:
- Your landlord/property manager
- Other utility companies in the event of leak-related damage
- Neighbours, especially in multi-residence buildings
- Insurance company.
Only call the best plumbers in a gas leak
If you do need a plumber or gas fitter in a hurry and want someone else to do the searching and research for you, give Best Plumbers Club a try. We’ve made it simpler than ever to enter your details and get rapidly connected to one of our fully-vetted, hand-picked, top rated gas plumbers. They’re all fully licensed, friendly, offer 100% workmanship guarantees, and include all the helpful extras like fixed upfront pricing.
What to do during a gas leak? No matter if you need a Sydney gas fitter, Newcastle gas fitter, Brisbane gas fitter or somewhere else in this great country. Make one of your priorities a visit to Best Plumbers Club – we’ll keep you safe & sound.