Natural Gas: Safety Tips for Gas Appliances and Installations

Security in its use

The characteristics of natural gas:

The smell of natural gas; a chemical odorant called mercaptan is added to natural gas, which has a characteristic odor so that it can be easily detected in case of leakage.

Many gas suppliers offer an emergency telephone line, or website such as available 24 hours a day, where you can access immediate information and attention in case of emergencies that may arise with your gas installations or appliances.

Any combustible gas can generate risks if it is not used properly, producing toxicological, asphyxia or fire risk.

Natural gas is not a toxic element, but inside the products of its combustion is carbon monoxide, which is. Carbon monoxide is present in all real combustion in minimal quantities. When the conditions of ventilation and condition of the gas appliances are adequate, there is no risk to people since the small quantities present are perfectly diluted in the atmosphere without generating harmful effects.

Effects of carbon monoxide (CO)

This gas, product of the combustion of any combustible substance, can accumulate due to not having adequate ventilation. In such cases, carbon monoxide can become toxic to humans and mammalian animals.

If the exposure is prolonged, medical help should be requested. The recommendation is to stay in places with abundant oxygen.

Security in gas appliances

Follow these practical tips.

  • Periodically check the devices that use natural gas to prevent improper combustion.
  • The flame of all the devices that use gas must be stable and have a deep blue colour in the centre and lighter on the outside, never yellow.
  • The burners should continue to operate even if they are at a minimum.
  • The stove should never be used to heat the house. Gas consumption can be high, as well as risky.
  • It is important to keep the place where the gas appliances are located well ventilated so that the combustion gases do not accumulate.
  • It is recommended to replace the connections of the appliances at least every five years and make sure that this work is done by a qualified gas technician.
  • If you are going to install a gas appliance that previously used LP gas as fuel, contact a qualified technician to carry out the conversion work.

Security in internal installations

Follow these practical tips.

  • Try to keep your gas installations safe:
  • Verify that the joints that connect the gas pipe and your appliances are in good condition and with the clamps that hold them to the wall tightly.
  • Check that the hose of the connection is in good condition. Preferably install copper or metallic flexible pipes.
  • If you are not going to use a device, close the gas valve.
  • If you are going to be away from your home for several days, close the general valve located just before the gas meter.
  • When you finish using the heater, check that the knobs are properly closed.
  • Remember that the proper use and maintenance of the interior installation of your home is your responsibility.

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Jennifer Winget

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