Being Aware of the Signs of a Gas Leak Can Save Lives

Published December 22, 2016

SANTA ANA PUEBLO – AMERIND,  the only 100%, tribally-owned and operated insurance solutions provider in Indian Country, wants to make Indian Country aware of the dangers of a natural gas leak in your home or business.

Gas leaks can occur at any time, but knowing what to look and smell for can help prevent loss of property and life.

Safety Manager Kenneth Ruthardt suggests checking to see if the burners are off if you need to leave the house. He also says that if someone suspects there is a gas leak, don’t turn on the lights or it will cause a spark.

“If the home is in a development, you definitely want to get out of the house and possibly notify your neighbors as well,” states Ruthardt, adding that safety first is always the best rule of thumb.

Ruthardt said it’s also a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector in the house. Many home improvement stores sell smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as a package.

Despite how you heat your home, whether it’s with gas or an electric space heater, always make sure you use the device or utility correctly, such as avoiding overloading an electrical outlet or throwing a rug on a cord. “That will catch fire,” Ruthardt said.

What to do if you hear the hiss of a gas leak, or catch a whiff of a rotten egg smell?

  • If you notice something wrong like sparks or flames, evacuate your house immediately and call 911 once you are at a safe distance.
  • If you don’t notice anything obviously wrong, make sure all the burners on your gas stove are turned off.
  • If the stove is off and you suspect a leak, don’t turn on the lights. It could spark and cause an explosion.
  • Open all the doors and windows to ventilate the house.
  • If you notice your grass or shrubs suddenly changed color, looking more brown or rusty, that could be a sign of a leak: the gas pouring out of the pipes. If you see any of these things, make sure to call 911 immediately and then call the gas company.
  • If you have turned the gas off in your home, do not try to turn it back on yourself; call the gas company to do that for you.

To learn more about Tribes Protecting Tribes or for an insurance quote, go to AMERINDRisk.org.

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