Along with carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, you should also install natural gas detectors in your home. Natural gas is commonly used in homes – to heat household appliances – but it can be extremely dangerous.
Thankfully, natural gas leaks are fairly easy to detect because the gas, while organically colorless and odorless, is mixed with a non-toxic odorant (you might be familiar with the rotten egg smell). However, even though gas leaks are rare, they can happen. Methane is extremely flammable, so just one spark of a lighter can quickly turn a gas leak into a fire or explosion.
That is why discovering gas leaks immediately is so important, and – while you can rely on your nose most of the time – the safest way to confirm your suspicions is to install a natural gas detector.
What should you consider when selecting or installing a natural gas detector?
- Type of alarm. A light and sound alarm is the perfect combination. Ensure that the alarm is placed strategically so that it will alert family members anywhere in the house, whether with flashing lights or a screeching alarm.
- Number of alarms. If you have a natural gas source in more than one location (such as a gas stove in the kitchen and a gas clothes dryer in the laundry room), it is wise to install more than one alarm.
- Location of alarm. Obviously, you should keep a natural gas detector near sources of natural gas, such as ovens, water heaters, and fireplaces. But you should also consider installing at least one alarm per floor so that all family members can see and/or hear it.
- Monitoring. Pairing your smoke alarms and CO and natural gas detectors to your monitored security alarm is a great idea. If a gas leak occurs and you are not at home or are asleep, the alarm will alert the security company who will notify you and dispatch the proper authorities.
What should you do if you suspect you have a gas leak?
Leave the house immediately. Do not turn on any lights, unplug electrical equipment, make phone calls, or light matches. Call 911 once you are safe at a friend or neighbor’s house, and do not re-enter your home until the proper authorities have cleared it.
To learn more about natural gas detectors, please call us at (301) 605-9112.