After a large gas leak in Mount Airy was discovered, officials evacuated 25 Frederick County homes on December 14, 2019. Luckily, no one was injured, and the gas leak was stopped temporarily. However, have you ever wondered what to do if you suspect a gas leak at your home or office? Here are some common-sense precautions.
Use Your Senses to Identify a Gas Leak
You can rely on your sense of sight, hearing, and smell to potentially identify a gas leak. When gas leaks, it has an impact on the nutrients in the soil. Dead vegetation or discolored soil near a pipeline are both signs that there is a gas leak. Further, not unlike a leaky air mattress, leaking natural gas can make a sound. Witnesses have described a high, whistling type noise, as well as a hissing noise when relating how they discovered a gas leak based on their hearing. Finally, natural gas is odorless. However, companies add a sulfur-based additive to natural gas to give off a smell similar to rotten eggs. This is deliberate on the part of gas companies because this can often be your best clue that there is a gas leak.
If You Suspect a Leak, There Is a Long List of “Don'ts”
There are a number of behaviors that can be dangerous and even life-threatening if done in the presence of a gas leak. Below are some of the most essential “don'ts” when a gas leak is suspected.
- Don't use the phone inside your home
- Don't open a window in an attempt to air the place out
- Don't open the garage door
- Don't turn on any lights, appliances, or other electrical switches
- Don't smoke
- Don't turn on your gas stove or ignite any other appliance, such as the furnace
- Don't stay in the home or office
Any one of these things can put your life at risk. Instead, leave the home or office completely. Call the emergency response number for your area. Some people express concern about “bothering” the authorities in the event that they are mistaken about a gas leak. However, professionals repeatedly assure the public, “Better safe than sorry.” They would far rather respond to a scene where no one is injured and the report is based on mistaken facts than arrive after someone has been killed or seriously injured because someone was afraid to call the authorities.
Be Smart, Stay Safe
At Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, we want you and your family safe. We strive to provide information that allows you to make informed decisions. However, sometimes even during the most cautious of circumstances, someone gets hurt. Sometimes this is due to the carelessness of the gas company. Other times, the fault can be laid at a careless construction worker or someone who simply ignored obvious warning signs. If you or someone you love has been injured due to a gas leak, please call our office. You may have a claim. We offer free consultations specifically so people like you can find out if you have a legal case. We do not charge a fee for our consultations. Call today at 800-529-6162 to schedule a consultation for your family.