COVID-19 Update: We are open!
It’s the season for grilling steaks on the barbecue and lighting up those gas fire pits in the backyard. Whether you cook with gas or use it as an energy source to heat your water and home, it’s essential to understand the associated risks. Typically safe when used correctly, natural gas and propane can cause the need for extensive fire restoration services if mishandled, while inhaling carbon monoxide from a gas leak can cause both injury and death. Read our Q&A and learn how to handle natural gas with care.
Made of mostly methane that has been pressurized into a liquid, natural gas consists of other gases that include hydrocarbons such as propane, butane, and ethane. Propane delivers more BTUs (British thermal units) than natural gas and tends to be less expensive. Both gases are said to burn “cleanly,” however, propane has a more explosive risk than natural gas, as it is heavier than air, while natural gas rises
A fossil fuel, natural gas is typically piped into a home and used for heating and providing energy to large appliances such as water heaters, cook ranges, dryers, furnaces, air conditioners, and natural gas fireplaces. Propane typically is used to power small devices such as barbecues, lawnmowers, and space heaters. However, it can also be used as a fuel source in large combustible engines.
Fire is one of the dangers of natural gas and propane, as both are highly flammable. A fire caused by a natural gas or propane explosion can lead to extensive fire damage restoration and smoke clean up. Natural gas and propane are also toxic as they release carbon monoxide (CO) when burned. Long-term exposure from a leak can lead to severe health risks, including:
While odourless and colourless in their natural state, natural gas and propane can smell like rotten eggs when mercaptan (methanethiol) or other additives are added to the gas. Most gas companies add these additives to their products so that natural gas and propane can be easily detected if a leak occurs.
Besides the smell, you can detect a gas leak by installing a carbon monoxide detector. Learn more about by reading Why You Need Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors in your Home. Another way to check your propane tank for leaks is by applying a leak detector solution or soapy water to the tank cylinder valve connected to the regulator outlet. Open the cylinder valve. If bubbles form, that indicates a leak.
There are several things you can do to make your home and property safe from potential gas leaks:
If you detect a gas leak inside or outside your home:
If you’ve experienced a fire due to a gas leak, contact Fort McMurray property damage restoration company Proserve DKI for emergency fire and smoke damage restoration and fire clean up.