Natural gas is used in about 50% of homes across America for cooking and heating. While using natural gas may be preferred by some, the substance can leak without the homeowner even knowing it. Some people are sensitive to the noxious gas however, some can’t smell it at all. Which even side you fall on, knowing these side effects of a gas leak may save a life.
Side Effects of a Gas Leak
Sudden or unexplainable headaches are one of the side effects of a gas leak in the home. If the headaches get worse as you linger in one room, the gas leak could be originating in that area. If your headache goes away while outside or in another part of the house, but returns when you venture back into a certain part of the house, there is a good chance you have issues that need to be attended to.
Also, check in on other family members, especially elderly and children who may be more sensitive to the infiltrator. If multiple persons are having an issue, consider leaving the house and calling for assistance.
Individuals exposed to a natural gas leak may also experience nausea or a sense of vertigo.
Those that are exposed to natural gas for extended periods of time may have flu-like symptoms including nausea and vomiting. If the house is closed up, symptoms might worsen.
As gas exposure worsens, individuals may feel a tightening of the chest, difficulty breathing, irregular breathing and eventually death. Natural gas sucks that oxygen from the air, replacing it with carbon dioxide. Without sufficient oxygen, the lungs cannot oxygenate the blood, leading to a type or asphyxiation, according to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission.
Rotten Egg Smell
Some gas companies have started adding smells to gas in an effort to alter homeowners of leaks. If you smell rotten egg smell, that’s your cue that you have a leak. Rotten egg smells are also indicative of sewer line leaks, which can be equally damaging to your health.
Sometimes a valve may hiss is natural gas is leaking. If you hear this sound, try turning off the valve but don’t spend a ton of time tinkering as you may fall victim to some of the symptoms mentioned above. Instead, follow some of the tips below.
What to do if you sense a gas leak
According to Captain James Altman of the Santa Monica Fire Department, there are a few quick things you can do if you have a natural gas leak.
- “If you notice something obviously wrong like sparks or flames, evacuate your house immediately and call 911. You want to make sure that you’re at a safe distance,” Altman advised. “You want to make sure you’re across the street somewhere that you feel safe, and once you get there, you want to make sure you dial 911 from there.”
- “If you don’t notice anything obviously wrong, make sure all the burners on your gas stove are turned off.”
- “If the stove is off and you suspect a leak, don’t turn on the lights. That could lead to a spark, which causes an explosion. You want to make sure you have a flashlight handy.”
- “Open all the doors and windows. You want to make sure you ventilate the house,” Altman said.
- “If you suddenly notice your grass or shrubs have changed color, looking more brown or rusty, that could be a sign of a leak: the gas pouring out of the pipes. If you see any of these things, make sure to call 911 immediately and then call the gas company.”
- “If you have turned the gas off in your home, do not try to turn it back on yourself; call the gas company to do that for you.”
Gas Leak Repairs
Once you’ve identified that you have a gas leak, let the experts at Deer Valley Plumbing take over. Lines can be located underground and are difficult to detect. We have a proprietary system to quickly and effectively locate both leaks and lines. We carefully mark your private gas lines before doing any work. Then, we strategically fix leaks without doing further damage to your gas lines and thus avoiding future leaks. We know that your family is as important to you as our is to us. That’s why we guarantee the same quality service that we’d give to our own grandmothers. If you feel like you are noticing one of the side effects of a gas leak, don’t hesitate to call Deer Valley Plumbing immediately. We offer 24/7 emergency service.