Tips for Gas Leak Detection in Your Home


The devastating fire that erupted in San Bruno last week is at the forefront of many of our minds. Along with concerns for the victims and families displaced by the flames, we keep thinking about prevention and detection measures to take at home.

If there’s one positive that can come out of this tragedy, it would be increased awareness and precaution taken by homeowners to prevent hazardous gas leaks from happening in the future. Here’s what you can do around your home to nip gas leaks in the bud:

  •      – Along with carbon monoxide detectors, a handheld flammable gas detector is a smart purchase for the home. Use one to check for leaks from gas lines, propane tanks, or other combustible gas sources around the home. And remember to change the batteries every year in all detectors! There’s no point in having them if they’re not ready to work at all times.
  1.     – Here’s a simple test to check if you’ve got a gas leak: Make a mixture of water and dish soap and apply a few drops to the gas connecting point on home appliances like your stove, dryer, or grill. If soap bubbles begin to form around the connection, then there you’ve probably got a gas leak.
  •     – Learn how to shut off the gas in your home. Keep a wrench near the main gas meter at your house and use it to turn the valve off at a moment’s notice.
  •     – And most importantly, if you smell a leak, call the gas company or fire department immediately. They’ll come check out the problem, diagnose the cause of the leak, and fix it. Even if it is a minor problem, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


PG & E has more information available here on preventing gas leaks in your home, and is another useful online source. NBC L.A. recently went on a house walkthrough with the city’s fire department captain, and the video offers plenty of helpful tips as well. Got any gas leak tips to share? Leave them in the comments below.

Image: Paul Sakuma for the Associated Press, via National Geographic

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