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What to do if you smell gas – safety tips from Confused.com

round gas hob alightConfused.com’s guide on how to deal with a gas leak in your home 

If horror stories of gas explosions leave you tossing and turning in your bed, fear not. There are ways to keep your home safe from gas leaks - and it doesn’t involve cooking over an open fire!

As household boilers, gas fires, most central heating systems and many ovens are fuelled by gas, leaks do sometimes occur. So just in case your home does suffer a gas leak, follow these safety guidelines on what to do if you smell something whiffy…

1. Use your nose 

Your nose is your personal gas alarm. Domestic gas doesn’t actually have a smell, energy providers add it to the supply to enable you to sniff a gas leak out straight away. So always be aware of the smell of gas.

Got a blocked nose? Lost your sense of smell? You’ll still be able to tell if there’s a gas leak in your home. Physical symptoms can include: dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches and irregular breathing. So, if you find this happening to you when you’re inside but not out, you could have a gas leak.

2. Don’t be a bright spark 

Don’t operate any electrical switches or create any flames, this includes flicking on a light switch and making sure you’ve turned off the cooker – and don’t even think about lighting a cigarette indoors!

3. Ventilate the property 

Open windows and external door immediately to allow the gas to dissipate as quickly as possible.

4. Turn off gas at the meter  

Not sure where the meter is? Then make it a priority to find out. Call your gas supplier if you need help locating it.

5. Call for professional help 

Don’t attempt to sort the problem out yourself. Call for suitably qualified help immediately. Phone the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

6. Evacuate if necessary 

If you have an unventilated basement or cellar that has a strong smell of gas, evacuate everyone from the building immediately. If the smell is overpowering in other areas of your home, you may also want to wait for help outside – but only after implementing the preceding safety measures.

7. Tell the neighbours 

Let your neighbours know if you think they may be affected by the leak – it’s better to be safe than sorry!

8. Wait for the all clear 

If you’ve evacuated the premises, don’t let anyone (apart from the person sent to repair the leak, of course) back into the property. Wait to be given the all clear before going back inside.

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Owe Carter

Owe Carter

Owe Carter has been a consumer interest writer for Confused.com since 2007. His career as a scribe began in local press, which saw him hunting ghosts, taking challenges from readers, living as B.A. Baracus for a week, and seeking out Pembrokeshire’s happiest dog.

Twitter: @ConfusedOwe
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