Energy Insights

Smelling gas? It could be a leak. What should you do?

By Claire Glynn | 1 December 2015


Smelling gas? It could be a leak. What should you do?

Using natural gas is a safe and economical option for cooking and heating your water and home. There are many trustworthy appliances on the market today that if installed by a licensed gas fitter will operate efficiently and require relatively low maintenance for years to come. While having gas in your home is harmless for your family and pets day-to-day, do you know what you should do if you start smelling gas?

What does gas smell like?

Natural gas is actually tasteless and odourless. The "rotten egg" smell that can accompany natural gas is an additive called mercaptan. This is intentionally added so that people may be able to smell a gas leak. Teach your children to recognise the smell so they may alert you in the event something goes wrong.

Tip: If you really want to be safe, you can buy a home natural gas detector. There are a number of companies that sell gas detectors.

Seven things you should do if you smell a gas leak inside your home

  1. Turn off your metered gas supply. To do this turn the valve handle to Horizontal (so that it is level with the ground). It's important to make sure you know in advance where this valve is located at your gas meter. You may need a spanner to do this.
     
  2. If the smell is coming from or around your gas meter, turn them off immediately and call your gas provider straight away. (Genesis Energy customers should call on 0800 300 400 and press option 1 . Remember to call from a neighbouring property if possible, as your property may be unsafe to remain in.
     
  3. Check your gas appliances are turned off.
     
  4. Extinguish all naked flames - cigarettes, open fires, matches or lighters.
     
  5. Do not turn any electrical appliances or switches off or on. This includes mobile phones.
     
  6. If the smell is in the house and it is safe to do so, ventilate the area by opening windows and doors.
     
  7. Do not turn your gas supply or appliances on again until a registered Gas Fitter has visited your property and ensured it is safe. 

Other times you should quickly evacuate

  1. If you see bushes or shrubs around the base of your home that have browned unusually quickly you may have a leak.
     
  2. If you smell gas and there are sparks or flames present. Leave immediately.
     
  3. If you hear gas "hissing" you potentially have a major leak. Go outdoors immediately.
     
  4. If your gas supply is inexplicably interrupted and it affects all appliances go outside and call your gas provider. (Genesis Energy customers should call on 0800 300 400 and press option 1 

In all circumstances relating to natural gas it is better to be safe than sorry.

 

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