If you suspect a gas leak in your home, the very first thing you should do is turn off the pilot light or gas meter and alert your gas company or authorities. Because gas is odorless, suppliers add a strong odor similar to rotten eggs to warn residents of the dangerous vapor and allow time for evacuation before symptoms become overwhelming.
In addition to an overwhelming amount of sulfur air, there are a few others signs that you may be experiencing a gas leak.
- A hissing or whistling sound
- Bubbles, dust or a “cloud” in standing water
- Visible damage to a gas line connection
- Houseplants that suddenly die
One of the first early warnings of gas leakage or dangerous levels of gas in the home may be symptoms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning.3 This is because as the gas level rises, the oxygen rates in the room decrease. Symptoms of increased exposure to carbon monoxide include the following:
- Shortness of breath or chest pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Eye or throat irritation
- Nausea or decreased appetite
- Depression, irritability or other mood swings
- Ringing in the ears
- Frequent nosebleeds
Pets, children, older adults and anyone with asthma may be among the first to suffer from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Extremely high levels can cause loss of consciousness and even death without prompt medical attention.