29 Natural Gas Safety Tips for a Safer Home
Natural gas is a colorless and odorless substance that could lead to danger if you don’t know the natural gas safety tips.
As a general rule, gas appliances and gas lines are not something any average homeowner should try to repair. Propane and natural gas are both dangerous substances. Any fumes that will escape right at the concentration could easily ignite in explosive force. So here are the general safety rules when it comes to dealing with natural gas.
What to Do When You Smell Gas
Take note that natural gas is a tasteless, colorless, non toxic and odorless substance. So if you notice a distinctive and pungent odor that can be likened to that of rotten eggs, then this could mean that some gas might have escaped. Remember that natural gas is one of the causes of house fire. So here are the safety tips when you smell gas in your home.
- Move immediately to any safe location.
- Do not ever attempt to smoke, strike a match or turn on or off appliances and lights in areas near the smell of gas. These things could easily produce sparks and will ignite the gas causing a huge explosion.
- Call your natural gas provider or dial the emergency hotline. Do not wait for someone else to do it. Provide your exact location and do not panic.
- Do not attempt to determine the source of the smell yourself.
- Never try to shut the gas valves off.
- If the smell is too strong or you hear a hissing sound, then run outside immediately.
- Open all windows and doors before you leave the building.
- Do not turn on your car engine. In fact, this is an important safety tip when using the gas station.
- Do not get inside the building until such time that it is inspected and declared safe.
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety
Almost all of the United States has relied solely on natural gas for about 23 percent of its energy needs. Natural gas is convenient, clean and efficient, which makes it one of the most popular fuels for heating homes. Almost all of the natural gas that has been consumed in various households all over the United States is being produced domestically and delivered through distribution and transmission of infrastructures with outstanding safety record.
In the US, it’s been said that there are about 2.2 million miles of pipelines that have remained to be quiet, reliable and efficient in delivering natural gas every day, either for commercial, industrial or residential use.
Just like with any forms of energy, the natural gas should be handled with properly. But despite having an excellent safety record, a gas leak can still lead to damages to a pipeline and could pose a hazard, with some tendencies to ignite and cause destruction.
Various measures have been implemented in order to ensure the safety of gas pipeline. Here’s what most gas companies have implemented for the safe use of gas pipelines.
- Conduct visual inspection.
- Ensure proper design and construction.
- Provides workforce training.
- Adhere to safety practices of the industry as well as government oversight.
- Offer pipeline markers as well as facility mapping.
- Provide public education training programs.
Various gas companies have worked with state and local agencies, as well as emergency responders in preventing accidents related to the use of natural gas. They provide trainings and periodic drills and conduct exercises in order to test the efficiency of communications, logistics and procedures in the event of an emergency. Moreover, emergency plans and procedures are being updated periodically and were made available for the state authorities.
Maintaining Natural Gas Lines during Winter
Remember that the accumulation of ice and snow can cause damage to your gas meters and pipe lines. Thus, part of the snow safety tips is to keep your gas lines protected from snow and ice.
Gas vents and chimneys should also be cleared right after a major snow or after an ice storm in order to allow proper venting and to prevent the equipment from malfunctioning. This is to also minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is very important that you locate your vents right before the first storm will hit the winter season. Here are more tips on how you can stay safe from natural gas during the winter.
- Make sure to carefully remove all snow and ice that have accumulated at the meter or the appliance vent pipe. You can make use of a brook or do it by hand. Avoid using a shovel as this might cause damage to the meter.
- Practice safety when doing snow removal. Do not ever attempt to shovel snow against the meter or the vent pipe.
- Remove the icicles that have accumulated at the overhead eaves and the gutters in order to assure that the dripping water will not splash and freeze at the meter or the vent pipes.
- Never kick your gas meter when trying to break or clear ice.
- Clear the path towards the meter so that emergency responders could get access to it easily.
- Call a qualified roofing vendor immediately if you are unable to safely remove the snow or ice.
Whether you are heating water, cooking, heating or cooling your home or drying clothes, a natural gas is definitely a more versatile option for fuel. Below are more helpful tips to ensure the safe use of your appliances at home.
- Check out the blue Energy Star seal when buying a gas appliance. This certifies that such appliance has met the strict safety standards.
- The flame on your gas appliances must burn with clear blue color. The yellow flame will indicate that your burner is not operating well efficiently.
- Keep all your appliances clean and well maintained. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the care and operation of the gas appliance.
- Since natural gas will need oxygen to be able to burn properly, make sure that you keep the area around your furnace clear of items that could block the circulation of air. This goes the same with the water heater as well.
- Warn your kids to not play around gas appliances, especially on fireplaces, ovens, stoves and furnaces.
- Do not use the gas range for heating space.
- Keep away all flammable items like papers, gasoline, cleaning fluids, curtains, rags and varnish from water heaters, furnaces, dryers and gas range.
- Keep your chimneys and flues clear at all times. Get your chimney and flue pipe checked by the heating contractor to ensure that they are not blocked with branches, nests and other debris.
Leave It to the Experts
Remember that the flame that comes out of your gas appliances must have a clear blue color. A blue flame usually indicates that your burner has been adjusted properly and is doing an efficient job. However, a yellow flame could indicate that the burner is not operating the right way and thus, you should immediately call the expert technicians in order to get this fixed. Do not ever attempt to fix it yourself.
The same thing applies to other issues and concerns. Have them solved by a trained professional.