Natural Gas as a Source of Electricity for Homes, Here are Safety Tips

Gas is the cleanest fossil fuel globally, producing only carbon dioxide, water vapor and small amounts of nitrogen oxides when burned. Natural gas is also used to power various consumer products, including stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers, and stoves. In fact, at least one of your appliances uses natural gas.

Natural gas can be dangerous if not appropriately handled like almost all energy sources. You can keep yourself and your loved ones safe by following a few simple safety tips (and knowing what to do if you have a gas leak or catch a gas leak).

Is Natural Gas Safe at Home?

When used correctly, natural gas is a safe and efficient source of electricity. Burning natural gas does produce some greenhouse gases, but it is still a more environmentally friendly solution than other fossil fuels. Compare gas vs. wood-burning fireplaces or electric vs. gas water heaters to see if gas power is suitable for your home.

As with electricity, gasoline and other potentially hazardous energy sources, exposure to natural gas must be handled with care. However, natural gas is a flammable material. A natural gas leak in a home can lead to a potential fire, and inhaling the gas can cause natural gas poisoning.

1. Check natural gas-using devices and appliances regularly

Checking all gas-using appliances and equipment regularly helps prevent and identify possible gas leaks in your home. Read the manufacturer's instructions for each tool to understand what to check and how often for safe use.

Common gas-powered appliances include furnaces, electric clothes dryers, water heaters, stoves and electric generators. Most of this equipment has a pilot light, which you should check too. If the appliance has a pilot light, the flame should be small and blue with a yellow tip. Please contact the appliance manufacturer if you suspect something is wrong with the appliance having an abnormal or missing pilot light.

2. Learn how to detect signs and symptoms of a natural gas leak in your home

Pipes or equipment powered by natural gas can cause leaks, which have the potential to have adverse effects. It's essential to identify the symptoms of a natural gas leak and know what to do if you experience a gas leak. 

The smell of rotten eggs

In its natural state, natural gas is odorless and colorless. To make gas leaks easier to detect, gas companies add chemicals called odorants to create a natural gas smell similar to sulfur or rotten eggs. The more pungent this smell, the more likely you will have a gas leak. When you start an older gas grill, you might smell a bit of this odor, but most energy-efficient grills made in the last 15 years shouldn't produce an odor.

Hissing sound

A large gas leak in pipes or equipment can produce a hissing sound, even when the equipment is turned off. Check pipes and equipment regularly, listen for hissing sounds.

Air bubbles outside your home

Natural gas leaks can also occur in underground pipes outside your home. If you see bubbles in puddles, including puddles and mud, it may signify that natural gas is spreading through the ground and into the surrounding air.

Dead or dying plants

These are the signs of a leaky refrigerator freon and how to deal with

them. Dead, dying, or stunted plants inside or outside your home can signify a potential natural gas leak in your home, especially if you take care of your plants. Correctly. The presence of natural gas prevents plant roots from absorbing oxygen and can cause wilting. Natural gas leaks can also cause smaller-than-usual leaves on trees, wilted plants, and yellowish grass.

Physical symptoms of natural gas poisoning

Symptoms of exposure to low levels of natural gas include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and irregular breathing. Exposure to high levels of natural gas can cause natural gas poisoning, characterized by fatigue, severe headaches, memory problems, loss of concentration, nausea, loss of consciousness, and suffocation. If you believe you are experiencing natural gas leak symptoms, contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Higher than normal gas usage

An increase in the amount of natural gas used in your home could indicate a natural gas leak. A seasonal increase in natural gas use is expected when using a gas stove, but an unexplained increase may indicate a leak somewhere in or around your home.

3. Install natural gas and carbon monoxide detectors in your home

Slow gas leaks may not produce enough natural gas odors, and even large leaks may go undetected by people with a reduced sense of smell. For this reason, it is recommended that homeowners use natural gas detectors to alert them to the presence of natural gas.

Carbon monoxide detectors don't detect natural gas leaks in your home but can warn you improperly when appliances burn natural gas, kerosene, or other fossil fuels. For extra safety, consider installing a carbon monoxide nature such as the plug-in Kidde carbon monoxide nature or battery-powered Kidde carbon monoxide nature.

4. Keep small children away from natural gas sources.

Keep small children away from stoves, heaters, and other potential sources of natural gas. Teach children how to recognize and identify the characteristic natural gas smell, recognize the symptoms of natural gas exposure and make sure they know what to do if they think there is a natural gas leak in the house.

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