Stop and be safe

Home Safety

Introduction > Take the Test > Home Safety > Poison Safety > Safety Proofing > In Case of Emergency > Outdoor Safety > Home Safety Checklist

Safe Design and Architecture > Gas Leaks > Carbon Monoxide > Radon

Prevention: Gas Leaks, Carbon Monoxide and Radon

Some of the greatest dangers around your home may be unseen - such as gas leaks, carbon monoxide, and radon. But avoiding these unseen dangers and alerting your family to danger can be as simple as checking your appliances regularly and purchasing a few, affordable alarms. Read on to learn more about making your home safe from gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning and radon.

Gas Leaks

Leaking gas can lead to asphyxiation (the inability to breathe leading to suffocation) and dangerous explosions. Luckily, commercial gasses, such as the kind of gas your stove or heater uses, have a strong odor added to them so you can smell leaks. If you smell a gas leak in your home, you need to act quickly.

The most important thing to do for a gas leak is to get fresh air and get out.

If the smell is strong and you are having a hard time breathing, leave your home as quickly as possible. If you live in an apartment building or near other homes, alert your neighbors so they can leave too. Then call 911 (or your local emergency number) and your gas company immediately to report the leak.

Whatever you do, don't do anything to trigger an explosion.

Put out all open flames like matches, lighters, candles, or cigarettes that could set the gas on fire. Even an electrical current could start an explosion, so avoid turning any appliances on or off, including lights.

If you cannot get out of the home, open doors and windows to air out the room.

If you know where the leak is coming from and can shut off the gas supply, do so at once. Contact your local gas company immediately and let them know about the leak.

Don't go back into the building until the fire department and the gas company have said it is safe to do so.

People who are not able to smell and have difficulty breathing (for example, have asthma or use oxygen tanks), should contact both their physician and their local gas and fire company to find out about detectors and special procedures for gas leaks.

Next: Home Safety: Carbon Monoxide

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living