All You Need To Know About Gas Leaks And How To Avoid Them

February 10, 2022

All You Need To Know About Gas Leaks And How To Avoid Them

Over the years, the term ‘basic needs’ has expanded widely. Initially, individuals only needed food, water, and shelter, for survival. But as the human race evolved, so did their needs. With the increase in awareness, other necessities like education, healthcare, and security also made it to the list.

As time went by, the urge to make life easier added fuel to basic needs. After all, fuel is necessary to cook food, which is essential for survival. Ask anyone about what they consider to be the basic needs of a household, and gas will rank amongst the most important of necessities. The world has become a web of connected pipelines to ensure that this resource reaches every household.

However, with this convenience comes a price in the shape of numerous gas leakage-related accidents. While some incidents result in mere hospitalisation with minor injuries, others are so lethal that they are remembered for decades.

To save our valued readers from such disasters, we shall thoroughly discuss the dangers of gas leaks in both residential and commercial contexts, and also suggest the right course of action to take during a suspected gas leak.

Basics Of A Gas Leak

Gas pipelines, like other gas-powered appliances such as stoves and heaters, are health hazards. However, gas-related incidents are not restricted to just fires and blasts. To comprehend the former, we must first decipher a few basic facts regarding gas:

The Most Common Gases That Cause Accidents

  • Methane and Propane – The latter are the pungent-smelling gases that are frequently delivered to our homes via pipelines. Individuals generally utilise them as fuel for stoves and other equipment. Methane and Propane are involved in the majority of household gas mishaps around the world.
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) – Although our emphasis is on gas pipeline leaks, the dangers of Carbon Monoxide are equally prevalent. During the winter, Carbon Monoxide causes numerous deaths globally.
  • Methyl and other industrial gases and chemicals – Commercial and industrial environments involving gas usage in their production processes are more prone to accidents. The worst amongst such cases caused about 15000 deaths in India in 1984.

Threats Of Gas Leaks

  • Accidental fires and blasts – Undetected or unattended gas pipeline leaks in a house or a workplace can lead to lethal fires and blasts. These gases are highly flammable, and if an ignorant person mistakenly ignites a lighter or a match stick, the whole area is likely to explode. These types of accidents are usually caused by natural gas.
  • Gas poisoning – The latter is yet another common type of gas-related incident. Although inhalation of Methane also causes poisoning, dwellings mostly bear the consequences of Carbon Monoxide leaks resulting from malfunctioning heating systems in the winter.
  • Usually, individuals responsible for underground sewer cleaning are also victims of gas poisoning. In severe cases, the latter results in suffocation to death.
  • Skin irritation and allergies – People working in industries involving a dense use of chemicals and gases are very prone to health issues caused by continuously leaking gases and chemicals. Problems might range from relatively innocuous skin irritations to deadly tumours and other abnormalities.

Signs Of A Gas Leak

In the case of natural gas, utility companies often add a sharp-smelling chemical for leakage detection. So, the best way to identify a gas leakage is by paying attention to any weird smell.

However, the same cannot be said for Carbon Monoxide as the latter is not a fuel but the result of inefficiently burned fuel. This gas does not have an odour and is difficult to detect. In such cases, it is advisable to pay attention to unusual dizziness or headaches, especially in the winter when a house or office lacks proper ventilation. The danger of this gas should not be ignored as it quietly replaces the oxygen in an area and leads to death due to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain.

The Right Course Of Action When There Is A Suspected Leakage

  1. Evacuate the area immediately to avoid accidents.
  2. Turn off the gas supply from the metre.
  3. Immediately contact a plumbing company for emergency leak repair services.
  4. As you wait for them, open up the doors and windows of the place for better air circulation (this is also helpful in a CO leakage).
  5. Even after the leakage has been fixed, keep an eye on the pipelines, especially the tees and unions.
  6. Install gas detectors if possible.
  7. Maintain proper ventilation during winter
  8. Fix faulty heating systems.

About Jack’d Up Plumbing

From minor problems such as a leaking kitchen water pipe to installing and renovating an entire plumbing system for domestic and commercial purposes, everything is within our expertise. Jack’d Up Plumbing offers unrivalled service delivery and customer satisfaction all across Calgary and its surrounding areas. Contact us for more information.