Natural gas is a clean, efficient and reliable source of energy for your home, but like any other fuel, it should not be taken for granted. It’s important to take natural gas safety seriously.
Natural gas is a flammable material. When it is safely contained within a closed piping system, it poses no threat to you or your family. Gas leaks are rare, but if gas does escape the pipes, any open flame or spark can cause an explosion.
Gas is odorless and colorless, so gas companies add a powerful chemical to it that gives it the distinct odor of rotten eggs. If you smell gas in your home, do not attempt to locate the source of the leak. Instead, evacuate the premises immediately and call your local fire department.
Here are some simple natural gas safety tips that can help you avoid potential hazards:
- Install carbon monoxide detectors.
- Make sure there is at least 18 inches of clearance around your furnace and water heater, and 6 inches around your clothes dryer (unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise).
- Keep flammable materials (paint, aerosol sprays, paper, etc.) away from gas appliances.
- Make sure all appliances are properly vented.
- Keep children away from appliances, meters and transformers.
- Keep your meter free of ice and snow during winter months.
- Keep the area around your gas appliances clear of boxes, laundry or other materials that could ignite.
- Do not allow children to play on or near any appliances, pipes or meters.
- Avoid long sleeves when cooking on a gas stove, and keep towels and pot holders away from flames.
- Never use a gas oven to heat your home.
- Don’t hide meters behind bushes or disguise them with paint.
- Never tamper with your meter in any way.
- Schedule regular maintenance for your gas-powered systems, such as your furnace and water heater
If you have any questions or concerns about your natural gas home safety, contact the experts at T.F. O’Brien Cooling and Heating for advice, or call your local utility provider. We have been serving Long Island for over 75 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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