More than 50 percent of American households use natural gas as a main source of energy. Although natural gas is a clean and efficient method of heating a house, there are some risks that need to be observed in order to stay safe.
A small portion of deaths and illness due to carbon monoxide are connected to natural gas usage each year. Usually, the cause is a faulty appliance, such as a gas water heater, that is not venting properly. Natural gas appliances should be carefully maintained in order to avoid such mishaps. There are also a few things you can do to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming a larger issue.
In its natural state, natural gas is odorless. A chemical smell that is reminiscent of rotten eggs is added to natural gas to make it noticeable in the case of a leak.
Natural gas becomes volatile when it builds up in enclosed areas as a result of a leak, creating the potential for an explosion. The gas smell may make you sick as well. Natural gas leaks inside a home are easily prevented by making sure gas lines are properly fitted and functioning. This should be done during annual checkups by professionals.
Natural gas leaks outside are also dangerous. Digging is the biggest risk factor for natural gas leaks outside the home as natural gas lines are typically buried underground. Before starting any work that requires digging, it is important to contact your local natural gas supplier and have underground lines marked.
If you do detect the strong odor of natural gas, following the tips below can help.