Gas Leaks

During a gas accident

Detection of gas leaks

The basic rules for detecting gas leaks are:

  • if possible, close the gas supply
  • ventilate the rooms by opening windows and doors
  • do not use open flames or electricity in the room
  • move away from the dangerous area
  • inform others and the alarm centre about the danger
  • if possible, switch off the electricity from the dangerous area

Closing the gas supply

The closing of the gas supply depends on where the leakage is. If the leak is caused by a gas tap of the stove that was left open, then the situation is the easiest.

When the fire of the gas stove shuts off, immediately close all gas taps. If, however, the pipeline is damaged, then it is necessary to close the valve from which the gas enters this pipeline.

In the case of gas cylinders, it is clear that if gas leaks from somewhere, then the cylinder must be closed quickly. If the flaw is in the cylinder, however, then the company from which the cylinder has been purchased must be immediately be contacted, or the alarm centre should be notified of the danger.

Ventilation of rooms

You should urgently ventilate the rooms to prevent an explosive gas mixture from being created there. Open windows and doors help to reduce the damage if an explosion still occurs. Ventilation should be carried out for at least 30 minutes for the danger to pass safely. This should ensure air purity if there is no further inflow of gas.

Sparks and electricity

Any ignition source – open flame, electric spark, etc. – can ignite the gas in the room and cause an explosion, depending on the gas concentration. In order to prevent the generation of an electric spark, you must not switch on any electrical device or disconnect it from the wall after detecting the hazard.

It is known that each switching generates small sparks in its vicinity. Even if the light is on in the gas-filled room, it is safer to leave it lit, not to make a switch that can cause a spark. The most common place of occurrence of such situations is in the kitchen because gas stoves are located there. Electrically, the refrigerator is a very dangerous device because it automatically switches the compressor on and off after certain time intervals. It also creates a dangerous spark. Therefore, it is the safest to switch off the electricity in the entire hazard area, which may include a flat, a house, etc.

ATTENTION! Switching off the electricity can only be done in a place where there is no gas odour, such as a stairwell or another room.

Move away from a dangerous area

Other people in the vicinity of the area should be immediately informed about the danger and should be removed from the dangerous area. As soon as possible, you must inform the alarm centre on the emergency number 112.

Stairwell and basement

If the gas smell is in the stairwell of the dwelling, windows of the stairwell and the front door must be opened for ventilation, if possible. If the gas enters the stairwell from the basement, then under no circumstances should the basement be ventilated through the staircase (danger to the inhabitants).

It is forbidden to go to the basement!

Open the front door to the basement and exit the dangerous area.

If the gas concentration is not reduced in rooms with closing off gas and ventilation of rooms, evacuation of people from the house begins. Everyone should be informed that using open flames, smoking, and switching electrical equipment on and off is prohibited.

If the leak is not detected or if it is time-consuming to liquidate it, then the specialists will close the gas pipeline throughout the house. The gas smell can also enter the basement from the underground damaged gas pipeline.

A gas leak outside of the building

If the gas smell is detected outside the buildings, it can come from an underground gas leak, in which case buildings located 50 m from the leak site are in danger. Gas penetrates then through the cellars.

All measures must be taken (stopping traffic, evacuating people, and ventilating rooms) to prevent explosions, suffocation, and other accidents. Gas from a damaged pipeline gas is absorbed into the soil and rises to the dense coating of the street or road.

In winter, the gas rises to the frozen soil layer, and sometimes, it can spread along the sand interlayer under the pavement.

If gas is smelled in several apartments in the houses of the district, this suggests a real danger that the low gas pressure in this district has exceeded the permissible limit. The rise in gas pressure could have caused the consumers’ gas meters to break and leak into pipelines or equipment. Everyone should be advised to close the taps before appliances and meters, ventilate the rooms, and wait for the experts to arrive.

Inform the alarm centre

When informing the alarm centre, you must provide the following information when answering questions:

  • explain what happened (the general nature and expression of the accident – the smell, visible injuries, fire, etc.)
  • the location of the accident or the place where the gas smell was discovered (whether the place of accident is in the room, in the stairwell, in the basement, outside the buildings)
  • taps close to the emergency site where it is possible to close the pipeline leading to the leak (is the gas supply closed?)
  • electrical equipment connected to the mains in the room (is electricity in the room switched on?)
  • open fire nearby (candles, fireplace, stove, etc.)
  • time of detecting the accident
  • people, nearby buildings, or other objects at risk
  • your name and contact details