Emergency Gas Leak Repairs
Think you can smell gas? If you detect what you think is the smell of gas, be sure to follow the guidance below and contact the National Gas Emergency Service at 0800 111 999.
Fixx are committed to raising awareness about the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances which can often lead to potentially dangerous leaks. Being aware of what to do when you think you have detected a gas leak is vital and can be life-saving.
So what does gas smell like?
Gas is actually odourless, but for safety reasons mercaptan is added to it so that it is easily detectable. A gas leak will closely resemble the smell of rotten eggs, rotten cabbage or even smelly socks, essentially a strong sulphur-like smell.
Are there any other signs of a gas leak?
Aside from a usually very obvious bad smell, there are other ways in which you might be able to notice a gas leak. These include some of the following:
- A hissing sound where the gas is escaping
- Unusually high gas usage (detectable on a smart meter or smart app that monitors gas consumption)
- House plants may be showing signs of dying
- Bubbles may appear in standing water around your property indicating a leak in the piping system
- Physical gas leak symptoms – including headaches, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, nausea, throat irritation, vomiting, blurred vision, shortness of breath and eventually loss of consciousness
What steps should you take if you suspect a gas leak?
If you believe you detect the odour of gas or any other telltale signs of a gas leak, follow these instructions if you are not in immediate danger.
- Open windows and doors to allow for the circulation of fresh air.
- To turn off the gas supply, locate the mains tap near the gas meter. Rotate the handle a quarter turn until it is perpendicular to the pipe, effectively stopping the gas flow.
- Leave the property.
- After leaving the property, contact the National Gas Emergency Service at 0800 111 999 using your mobile phone.
- Be sure to follow the advice provided by the National Gas Emergency advisor.
- Wait a safe distance outside the property for a Gas Safe registered engineer to arrive.
- If you are not feeling well, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Inform the emergency services if you suspect exposure to a gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you suspect a gas leak and are in immediate danger, it is important to evacuate the premises and contact the National Gas Emergency number at 0800 111 999. This number is free to call and operates 24 hours a day.
If there is a suspicion of a gas leak, it is important to avoid the following actions:
- Avoid smoking, lighting matches, or using any other sources of naked flames.
- Avoid turning on or off any electrical switches, including light switches or household appliances.
- Avoid using mobile phones, doorbells, lights, or any other electrical switches that may produce a spark or be sources of ignition.
What are the causes of a gas leak?
A gas leak can be caused by poorly maintained appliances, faulty appliances, or improperly installed gas appliances. Sometimes the leak may be external and related to a leak in the underground pipes serving the property.
What are the consequences if a gas leak is not addressed?
It is necessary to address a gas leak promptly to prevent fires, explosions, and gas poisoning. Aside from the physical threat to safety caused by fire or explosion, householders could be suffering what at first appear to be unexplained symptoms, which in the worst case, could even result in death.
Having a gas detector alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and smoke alarm located on your property can go some way to ensuring that you and your family are kept safe. Any work relating to maintenance and servicing of gas-fuelled systems such as boilers, central heating systems and gas cookers, should be carried out by Gas Safe-registered engineers to ensure safety. Annual safety checks are highly recommended.