Most homes in the UK use natural gas for central heating, cooking and boiler-warming purposes. What makes natural gas so popular is that it is clean burning, smokeless, quick and highly efficient. However, despite advanced safety measures, leaks can and do occur, so it is important that you know what to do should you become aware of a leak inside or outside your home.
The first clue of a leak will be a sulphurous smell in the home. This odour is actually a chemical additive mixed with the gas by the supplier. Its only purpose is to alert the user to the fact that there is a leak in the system, and that it needs urgent attention to avoid the risk of asphyxiation, or an explosion. Remember to train children from the earliest possible age to report any gas smells around your home.
Self-Checking Gas Appliances
If the gas smell is only a mild odour, it will be fine to check out certain gas-powered appliances yourself. More often than not, it will likely be as simple as a failed pilot ignition system, and relatively easy to replace. Remember to switch off the gas and clear the smell from your house before igniting any gas appliance.
Gas heaters and gas-fired central heating systems require checking and servicing by registered gas fitters at least once a year. This is not a DIY job for obvious reasons, so you can find a gas fitter in your area right here on Mr-Skill. Ask for a gas fitting quote to service all your gas appliances.
Strong Smell of Gas
A hissing noise anywhere near a gas appliance or a powerful smell of gas in your home indicates a far more serious leak. Under such circumstances, do not attempt to trace the problem yourself. Open all windows and evacuate your home immediately, checking each room carefully for other people and pets. Avoid using any electrical switches or lighting up cigarettes – you could inadvertently trigger an explosion that way. Stay away from any electrical appliance, especially mobile phones. Once you are safely outside, you can call your gas supply company and declare an emergency. If you don’t have the gas company’s telephone number, then call emergency 999.
Outdoor Gas Leaks
Ernest, our long-standing London gas fitter says that If you smell gas outside your property, or you accidently damage a gas pipe in your garden, you should call emergency services immediately. Do not attempt to repair or fix the problem yourself, because you could be risking life in your entire neighbourhood.