Combustible Gas Detectors
Natural gas is an energy source that
is commonly used in homes for
cooking, heating, and water heating.
It is primarily composed of methane.
(Methane is a highly flammable
chemical compound consisting of one
carbon atom surrounded by four
hydrogen atoms.) Although it only
happens rarely, a natural gas leak
can sometimes occur inside the home.
A natural gas leak can be dangerous
because it increases the risk of
fire or explosion. Your local gas
company works hard to provide
adequate warning in the event of a
gas leak. Because methane--and
therefore, natural gas--does not
have any odor, the gas company adds
a warning "rotten-egg" smell (mercaptan
or a similar sulfur-based compound)
that can be easily detected by most
people. However, people who have a
diminished sense of smell may not be
able to rely upon this safety
mechanism. If you have a concern
about your ability to smell the
additive that signals a gas leak,
you need to see a physician and use
a different safety signal. A
combustible gas leak detector can be
an important tool to help protect
you and your family.
What to do if your combustible gas
leak detector alerts you to a
natural gas leak?
1. Leave the house immediately.
2. DO NOT make calls from your home.
Phones are capable of producing a
spark, which could start a fire or
explosion. Contact your local gas
utility company from a phone outside
and away from your home.
3. DO NOT light a match or other
combustible material. Likewise, DO
NOT turn any light switches on or
off, and DO NOT plug or unplug
electrical appliances such as a
television or vacuum cleaner. These
activities also can produce a spark
that could start a fire or
4. Do not re-enter the house until
the gas company finds the source of
the leak and corrects it.
Content Courtesy : www.nidcd.nih.gov