What to Do if You Suspect a Gas Leak

In our last article, we touched on several signs that may warn you of a natural gas leak. Once the leak is detected in your home, both electric and fire sources will become a hazard. Natural gas cannot burn by itself and won’t ignite without getting in contact with oxygen and an ignition source. Any spark, no matter how small, could cause an explosion. Even turning a light switch on or off may ignite the leaked gas. This is why you should immediately contact a trusted 24-hour emergency plumber San Diego for an emergency gas leak and line repair. Before making the call, it’s important to follow these basic steps and avoid a potential explosion. Here’s what to do.

If natural gas has ignited

Keep in mind that there are two preconditions for the ignition. It requires the right mixture of natural gas with oxygen to initiate an explosion in an enclosed space. For an average home, at least 10 percent of gas needs to spread through the air before it can combust. Then, if a leak from a natural gas appliance or pipe has found a source of ignition, you’ll face an open flame. If gas ignites, don’t try to extinguish it. Even if you do, it will likely reignite as gas keeps pouring out of the damaged pipe or appliance. This will create a more dangerous situation. The only safe way to put out the fire is to leave it to the professionals. So let it burn, leave the house and call the utility company, fire department or another qualified professional.

If you smell gas inside the home

  • If you suspect a gas leak, don’t try to locate the source of the leak yourself.
  • Don’t cause any ignitions. Therefore, don’t use any electrical switches, including light switches and electronic doorbells. Don’t smoke, light matches or switch any appliances on or off. Don’t use your phone or make phone calls from your house. Any of these actions can cause a spark that could ignite the leaked gas.
  • If you smell a mild gas odor, if possible, open up doors and windows to ventilate the area. Check to see if pilot lights are off. Then call a gas company or a trustworthy 24-hour emergency plumber San Diego that is certified, licensed and insured to deal with a gas leak. The operator will advise you on the following steps.
  • In case of a strong gas odor or a hissing sound, leave the house or area immediately. Also, if you’re experiencing some of the symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headache or difficulty breathing, exit the house as soon as possible. If the odor is still strong, get as far away as you can.
  • A leak may start in your basement, which means that if you smell gas on the second floor, a large amount may have already accumulated downstairs. This is why it’s important to evacuate the premises and get everyone outside as soon as possible. Then call the experts to locate, stop and repair the gas leak.
  • Once outside, it might cross your mind to drive off the property. Do not start a car. A spark from the vehicle in the vicinity of a gas leak may become an ignition source.
  • Wait for the professionals to arrive. Keep out of the house until a gas company technician tells you it’s safe to re-enter the house.
  • Once the utility company, fire department or another qualified professional has identified and stopped the leak, you’ll need to hire a professional to repair the natural gas leak.

How to prevent a gas leak

Keep in mind that the best way to deal with a gas leak is to stop it from occurring in the first place. Make sure your natural gas appliances are installed by a company that offers a certified, licensed and insured gas installation service. Don’t forget to schedule regular maintenance and have a regular gas line inspection annually. Also, educate yourself and your family about natural gas safety.

Call your trusted 24-hour emergency plumber San Diego

For emergency gas leak and line repair and installation, contact Plumbing Plus, a reputable licensed, insured and BBB A+ accredited San Diego company. Call (858) 251-6812or contact us through our website. Our reliable, skilled and experienced professionals will arrive promptly and eliminate the risk of hazardous gas explosions. Our company specializes in plumbing service and repair, and bathroom remodeling. With over 30 years of quality service and more than 10,000 customers, we have the experience and expertise to handle all of your plumbing needs.