How to Find a Gas Leak

Gas Leak

(Modern Survival.org) – A gas leak in the home is a dangerous situation that can lead to a fire or even an explosion. Once a gas leak has begun, the gas will slowly begin to fill the confined space. It mixes with the air, building up so much pressure that any spark, even from static electricity, will cause it to explode.

If you have a gas-powered stove, gas logs, or a gas heater in your home, you need to know how to identify and find a gas leak if and when one occurs.

What’s That Smell?

The first clue that alerts you to a gas leak is the smell. On its own, natural gas is odorless, which is why the chemical mercaptan is added to it. Mercaptan has an odor similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. Following the smell can lead you to the general area of the leak, because the odor will be stronger near the source.

Shut it Down

Once you have determined there is a leak, the first thing you should do is turn the gas off. The gas meter outside your home has a valve on the pipe coming from the ground. Use a wrench to turn this 90 degrees, sideways across the pipe.

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To determine the exact location of the leak, fill a spray bottle with dish soap and water, then shake. This solution can be sprayed on pipe fittings where a leak is suspected. When the soapy water hits the leak, bubbles will begin to form as the remaining gas in the pipe tries to escape. At this point, it is a simple repair and your home is safe once again.

If you suspect a gas leak, do not light a match or create any other type of spark. Observe safety first and avoid doing anything that could trigger a fire or explosion.

Survival situations aren’t always exotic, world-ending events or common mishaps like becoming lost in the woods. Emergencies at home can be every bit as dangerous.

For more tips on how to survive an emergency at home, check out our article on house fires.

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~Here’s to Your Survival!

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