You’ve probably heard warnings about gas leaks, much like you’ve heard warnings about harmful sunlight, chemicals in processed foods, and the like. But how dangerous are they really?
This blog aims to inform you of the dangers of gas leaks, and how they can spell catastrophe for your home if left unchecked or ignored. We’re going to break down the warning signs of gas leaks, the potential dangers of an ignored gas leak, as well as how to prevent gas leaks in the future. Utilizing Safe Gas Services is the best way to avoid any trouble with your gas lines.
What Kind Of Gas Leaks Are Common In Homes?
The most common types of gas leaks in an average house are carbon dioxide, natural gas, or propane, which can leak due to faulty or broken gas lines, poor ventilation systems, or malfunctioned exhaust fans. Or, if your chimney is clogged, carbon dioxide could leak into the house as well.
Where Are These Gasses Dangerous?
Carbon dioxide, or CO2, can produce a variety of negative health effects if a person is exposed to certain amounts of it, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. These can include:
- Tingling feeling
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
Below is a breakdown of the amounts of carbon dioxide as it relates to the atmosphere and its potentially harmful effects on humans:
- 400 ppm: average outdoor air level.
- 400–1,000 ppm: typical level found in occupied spaces with good air exchange.
- 1,000–2,000 ppm: level associated with complaints of drowsiness and poor air.
- 2,000–5,000 ppm: level associated with headaches, sleepiness, and stagnant, stale, stuffy air. Poor concentration, loss of attention, increased heart rate and slight nausea may also be present.
- 5,000 ppm: this indicates unusual air conditions where high levels of other gasses could also be present. Toxicity or oxygen deprivation could occur. This is the permissible exposure limit for daily workplace exposures.
- 40,000 ppm: this level is immediately harmful due to oxygen deprivation.
So any amount of excess carbon dioxide in your home could cause you, your loved ones, or your pets significant health effects.
With propane and natural gas leaks, the biggest danger comes from the threat of a gas fire or even an explosion in your home. These gasses are highly combustible and flammable. And even though these gasses aren’t toxic, if they replace the air in your home, and therefore your lungs, you could asphyxiate.
That’s why many people have an earthquake shutoff valve. This is a tool that automatically shuts off a house’s gas lines in the event of an earthquake, which could cause breakages or issues to the house resulting in gas leaks.
What Are Common Warning Signs of Gas Leaks?
Detecting a gas leak early is crucial for eliminating the risks of a potential disaster in the form of an explosion or negative health effects on you or others living in your home. Some common warning signs of a gas leak include:
- A hissing sound
- Air bubbles in water
- Dying plants in the home
- Sick animals
- The smell of rotten eggs
- Higher gas bills
- Presence of gas leak symptoms listed above
- Irritated skin
- Dead grass and bushes outside
If you notice, or even suspect to notice, any of these warning signs, contact your landlord or a certified gas expert to come to take a look. An inspection could save your life.
Gas leaks can be very dangerous and lead to sickness, asphyxiation, explosions, fires, and more. It’s important to have regular gas inspections to get ahead of these problems and to check your gas lines routinely.