Gas safety is a very important area that everyone should be aware of or at least have some knowledge. Most of us are reliant on gas so much that we take it for granted, and fail to see or be able to deal with what could happen if an emergency situation arises. In this article, we will explore some of the dangers associated with gas.
The importance of a trained professional
Gas work is one of those areas of life where ‘DIY’ certainly doesn’t apply. This is because of the complexity and potential serious consequences that dealing with this substance can entail. Therefore, it is only trained professionals who have been through a rigorous programme of both study and experience who are fit to deal with gas matters. Unless you or anyone else are qualified, never think for one minute that you can sort a gas problem out. Call a professional and seek help.
Gas leaks in the home
Everyone is aware of the smell of gas, but did you know that ‘pure’ gas doesn’t smell like this? Pure gas is odourless, so a substance is added to it (the one we smell as humans) so it becomes much easier for us to detect the presence of gas and a gas leak in our environments. Gas is obviously a dangerous substance to us as humans, yet the gas we use in our environments is amongst some of the cleanest and safest fossil fuel substances that are known to exist.
If you suspect a gas leak in your home, then you need to get a professional to come and investigate. There are steps you can take yourself however, while you are waiting for assistance to arrive.
* Turn off the gas supply completely by shutting it off (if you feel comfortable to be able to do this.) This will stop any gas travelling further, although of course if you suspect gas leaking at the meter, then this may not help.
* Open all doors and windows to allow fumes to escape. A build-up of fumes in the body is poisonous and can kill, so let as much natural air in as possible.
* Gas is a highly combustible substance. It takes little to set alight and cause a potentially massive explosion.
Therefore, DO NOT smoke if you suspect a gas leak, and avoid turning light switches or electrical devices on and off. The resultant small ‘sparks’ that can occur from doing this can be catastrophic.
By following these steps this should be sufficient as a very short term measure to keep you safe until a gas engineer arrives.
A word about carbon monoxide
No post on gas safety would be complete without reference to this. Carbon monoxide is deadly. Gas can be detected by smell, but you cannot see, hear, feel, touch or smell carbon monoxide – it is oblivious to the senses. This makes the detecting of its presence vital very quickly as only exposure for a short amount of time can lead to death. Carbon monoxide occurs when gas substances or appliances don’t burn efficiently. This leads to chemical reaction which brings about the deadly toxin.
How are gas leaks and carbon monoxide stopped?
Generally speaking, both of these issues can be avoided by the same preventative action being taken. Gas leaks and carbon monoxide occur generally because of work that hasn’t been done properly – this includes both installing of appliances and maintenance of them.
The answer? This makes the posting end by becoming circular, but the solution really is to only let someone qualified and trained deal with your gas appliances!
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