With its low costs and clean-burning energy, it is no surprise that more and more people are getting natural gas installed in their home. Despite its many advantages, gas can have some risks when used in the home. To avoid issues like leaks or explosions, homeowners may need to exercise a little more care. Here are a few safety measures you can take to ensure that your natural gas does not cause any problems after installation.
Remove Combustible Objects Near Gas Meters and Furnaces
Make sure that combustible objects stay far away from areas where they could cause harm. Never lean things like filters or cardboard boxes against your furnace, and regularly check to ensure debris and yard trash are not too close to your meter. Having a clear space around these parts of your gas system will keep small fires from turning into big explosions.
Learn the Signs of a Gas Emergency
One of the biggest signs in the smell. Gas may have a smell like sulfur, trash, or rotten eggs. You may also hear a hissing noise if you are very close to the gas leak. If you notice any of these signs, you need to vacate the area immediately. Another more subtle sign is a line of dry, brown grass stretching along an otherwise healthy part of your lawn. This can mean your gas line is leaking and damaging the grass.
Install a Carbon Monoxide Alarm in Your Home
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of lower utility bills and no longer having to worry about historical regulated electricity rates, but you also need to remember to install the right type of alarms. A typical fire alarm may not register high levels of carbon monoxide in the air. However, this is important because the carbon monoxide present in gas can cause poisoning if you inhale too much air during a gas leak.
Schedule Regular Appliance Checks
Because you use your appliances regularly, it is always possible for gas leaks to develop over time. Because of this, you should check your appliances every year or so to ensure everything is working correctly. It may be a good idea to get a gas safe register engineer to come out and go over the system for you.You can enter a reminder on your phone or computer if you need a little help remembering.
Turn Off Your Appliances After Every Use
Leaving gas appliances running can be a big cause of unsafe air quality. Of course this step does not apply to appliances like water heaters that should be constantly going, but for things like stoves, you need to make sure it is not on in between uses. Sit down and have a chat with other members of your household to remind them about the new gas installation and emphasize the importance of turning things off. If you have trouble remembering, you may want to consider installing a timer that will automatically shut off your equipment after a certain amount of time.
Know the Gas Emergency Number
If you do encounter a gas leak, time is of the essence. To make sure you are prepared for emergencies, go ahead and look up your local or national gas emergency phone number. Save this number in your phone or write it down in an easy to reach place. Any time you suspect you may have a gas leak, you will need to be prepared to vacate the premises and call the gas emergency line for assistance.
By taking these basic safety precautions, you can stay safe while enjoying the convenience and affordability of natural gas.