Peeeee-UUUUUUU! What is that smell? The odor of rotten eggs is never appealing, but it can also be a sign that you have a serious problem – a gas leak. Natural gas is normally odorless, but gas manufacturers are required to add a chemical (called mercaptan) that gives it the distinctive smell of sulfur or rotten eggs.
The smell is very easy to detect and needs to be responded to quickly. If you can trace it back to your furnace on your own, turn it off and call the fire department immediately. Be sure to completely evacuate your home, just to be on the safe side.
While a call to the fire department and gas company is a good place to start, they will not make any repairs. They will only do an inspection. To fix the problem you will need to call a professional. Not only do you need to be concerned about the possibility of an explosion or fire, but high levels of natural gas can also cause loss of consciousness in people who are breathing it. Other symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches and irregular breathing. In the most extreme cases it can even cause death.
Things to remember if you smell natural gas in your home:
- Avoid lighting matches or other sources of fire.
- Don’t use any electrical devices or appliances that could cause a spark – the key is to avoid doing ANYTHING that could potentially cause a fire.
- Turn off the gas to your home, if possible.
- Evacuate the entire household.
- Call the fire department – from a safe distance away from your home.
- Call the local gas company and your favorite local heating company, which we sincerely hope is us.
One of the best ways to prevent a gas leak in your home is to have your furnace serviced each year. Call Carmine’s today to schedule your appointment at 203-791-8089.