Gas Leak Action Plan

What To Do If You Smell A Gas Leak

Nope, we’re not talking about the gas leak that comes out from the posterior after a hearty meal (Burp!) but the type of fossil fuel that is formed naturally by decomposing organic matter that is trapped in porous rocks deep beneath the earth’s surface. (๐Ÿ™„ – Duh. Speak English please!)

It’s colourless and odourless.

Well, if it’s odourless how can we smell it then? An odourant called ethyl mercaptan is added into the mix to aid in detecting gas leaks. That is why you can smell it when there’s a leakage.

It smells like sulfur or rotten eggs.

Uses of Natural Gas

Natural gas plays an important role in the lives of many residents and businesses in Western Australia every single day. It fuels at least 60% of the State’s electricity, keeping the lights, television and computers on for over 2.5 million people. It also provides about 83% of households in Perth the ability to cook, heat their homes, heat their water, etc.

While natural gas is a relatively safe, efficient and convenient energy source, if it is improperly installed or maintained, gas leaks can become a health risk and a source of danger in your home.

Detecting a Gas Leak using Smell, Sound and Sight

Gas leaks carry with it the potential to explode due to the highly flammable nature of its vapours. It is vital therefore that you learn how to recognise the signs that appear when there’s a leak. Some signs are more obvious than others.

The sooner you discover the leak, the faster you can act.

Thanks to the added chemical mercaptan, natural gas smells a lot like rotten eggs. Some have even described it as smelling like garlic. This strong, pungent and unpleasant odour is a fast and effective way of detecting a gas leak.

The leak may make noise depending on where the leak is coming from and what kind of damage has been done to the line. You might hear a low hissing sound just like when air is blown through a tight space.

The hissing sound may also come from the appliance attached to the gas line. Gas stoves are the most common source. However, it may also happen for gas powered ovens and dryers, etc.

If there is dust or dirt blowing near a gas line where there is no wind or breeze normally, there may be a leak.

If the gas line runs under a body of water and you notice bubbles, it often means a leak.

If your gas appliances have a discoloured flame when lit (a colour other than blue), there might be a leak.

If you notice dead plants or dying plants in your home for no apparent reason (not because you didn’t water them ๐Ÿ˜‰) then it might be advisable to check for leaks.

How to test for gas leaks at home

Below is a simple way to test joints, hoses and pipe lines for leaks by using a spray bottle and a mixture of detergent and water.


  1. Fill a spray bottle with water and dish washing detergent
  2. Spray the affected area liberally with the soapy solution
  3. If a leak is present, you will notice the presence of large bubbles.

How you may be affected physically

Prolonged exposure to gas will pose a health risk to you and your family members. You shouldn’t wait to contact a gas-fitter to expedite repairs or replacement of faulty gas lines and parts.

While you wait, remember to exercise extra caution. Do not turn any electrical devices on or off, as the spark may ignite the gas. If possible, put out any smoking materials or open flames. Let others in your area know about the problem, and do not re-enter a building to retriever your belongings.

Though your nose can’t always tell you when something is wrong, the rest of your body can certainly give you a few signals. As you inhale the gas, the carbon monoxide builds up in your system, essentially replacing the oxygen in your blood.

Without enough oxygen, cells in your body start to die, and you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion and difficulty focusing
  • Drowsiness and vision problems

If you feel shortness of breath, leave the building and breathe deeply. If you feel worse when you return indoors, go outside again and seek medical help.

When You Suspect There’s a Gas Leak

If the smell or other signs of a gas leak are minor and you arenโ€™t feeling ill, go through your home and open the windows and doors.  This will help to prevent a gas build up in your home. Head outside your home and shut off the main gas line at the meter box or shut off the valves if you use LPG tanks.

If the smell of gas is strong, leave your home immediately. Do not flip the lights off or call for help from your home. Find a safe place away from your property and call your gas supplier and inform building and energy

After the gas is turned off by your gas supplier, call us in to fix your faulty pipes. We will repair your gas leak and run a gas test to make sure the leaks are gone and your home safe for you and your family again.

Call us at 9387 2339 or email us, if you encounter a gas leak situation or require our gas fitting services.

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