Suspect Gas Leaks – What should you do to handle gas leaks?
Do you have LPG or natural gas installed at your home or business? You should be aware of the signs of gas leaks and what to do in case of an emergency.
Properties of Natural Gas and LPG
- Natural Gas – It is lighter than air and in the event of a gas leak, it will rise and spread in the air.
- LPG – It is heavier than air and tends to pool on the ground or drains.
Both the gases are flammable, odourless, non-poisonous and non-toxic. To make the gas leak apparent, a chemical called Ethyl Mercaptan or Ethanethiol is added to the gas so it is easy to detect leaks.
Signs of Gas Leaks
- The smell of rotten eggs, durian or cooked cabbage
- Hissing sound near the gas line or appliance
- Dying house plants
- Pets are sensitive to gas leaks and they may behave unusually or have symptoms of lethargy, vomiting, lack of appetite, breathing difficulties
- Dizziness and breathing difficulties inside the house which goes away when you go out.
- Blue or yellow flame on the ground
- A dry spot within a moist area – gas leak from an underground pipe can cause the soil to dry out.
What to do if you have a Gas Leak?
Firstly, stay calm and don’t panic.
- Turn off the electrical switches, appliances and pilot lights.
- Open all the windows and doors for ventilation
- Turn off the gas supply from the mains.
- Go outside immediately as inhaling the gas can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and can prove to be fatal
- Once you are at a safe distance from your house, call your local gasfitters for an urgent inspection. If the leak is between the gas meter and your house, your gasfitter will be able to repair the leak.
However, if the gas leak is around your gas meter and the distribution network, your gas distributor is responsible for the repair.
- Do not test for leaks with a naked flame
- Don’t smoke inside the property
- Do not operate your phone or use a flashlight as it could cause a spark and ignite the gas flame.
What if the leak is outside your home?
If you can smell gas outside your home on the street near your gas meter, contact your gas distributor.
There are 2 main operators in Queensland :
- Australian Gas Network: 1800 427 532
- Allgas Energy (Operates south of Brisbane River, South Coast, Toowoomba and Oakey): 1800 808 526
If you do not know your distributor, check your energy bill or contact your energy retailer.