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Heating or cooking appliances powered by natural gas or propane / butane cylinders can be dangerous in the event of a leak. Do you know how to detect a gas leak, the risks it entails and what to do in these cases? Our advices.

Detect a smell of gas

It should be known that initially, gas is a fossil fuel totally odorless and colorless. It is for this reason that fragrant product it has been added to avoid damaging accidents for men and buildings. This product is mercaptan, or ethanethiol, which is responsible for the strong smell of domestic gas.
When you smell that nauseating smell in your home, it is likely that there is a leak on your gas installation.

Be careful however this smell can appear briefly by changing the bottles of butane or propane or when you start your device, which does not mean that you have a leak. Equipment powered by natural gas does not emit any odor if it is in good working order.

How to react in case of gas leak?

Despite the good connection of appliances and ventilation grids operational, this "smell of gas" persists? Here's what you need to do:

  • Open doors and windows to ventilate the room
  • Cut immediately the gas inlet valve
  • Do not touch any electrical appliancesincluding switches, flashlights and telephones, do not touch the light so as not to cause an explosion due to an electric arc or spark
  • Bring out all the people and animals in the house
  • If you live in a building, warn your neighbors knocking on the doors so they come out and use the stairs instead of the elevator always to avoid sparks and flames.
  • Call the fire department or the dedicated professional once outside the housing and wait for the time they intervene.

The risks of gas for humans

The risks of gas are intoxication, asphyxiation, explosion, fire, burns.

  • intoxication: the malfunction of a gas-fired appliance produces high-dose carbon monoxide that can become lethal. Go to this page to learn more: heating attention to carbon monoxide.
  • asphyxiaIn the event of a leak and a gas-air concentration greater than 25% in a room, the inhaled oxygen is replaced by the gas causing asphyxiation.
  • The explosionit occurs only in a confined environment and if there is an ignition of the air-gas mixture.
  • fire: it is caused when there is a leak and a source of heat nearby
  • Burns: they concern liquefied natural gas which is stored at very low temperatures

Decrepit or un-maintained facilities are largely responsible for these risks, which can lead to death.

How to avoid a gas leak and its dangers?

  • Regular maintenance of gas appliances by a professional is essential
  • Check your pipes or fittings by brushing them with soapy water before opening the gas, if there is a leak, bubbles will form.
  • Change hoses before the dates indicated on them
  • Ventilation vents must not be condemned
  • Shut off all faucets in case of prolonged non-use
  • Install one or more gas detectors near your devices to alert you if a gas leak occurs. There are natural gas detectors (city gas) and propane / butane gas detectors.

Video Instruction: How to Check for Gas Leaks In a Home: Home Safety