Gas leaks happen when agas line or a gas-burning appliance springs a leak. Natural gas flowing seeps out of the leak into open areas. Gas leaks are dangerous because natural gas is composed primarily of methane. Methane is an asphyxiant that pushes oxygen out of enclosed spaces as it rushes to fill those spaces.
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What is a gas leak and how does it happen?
A gas leak happens when natural gas leaks from a pipeline into any area where the gas should not be present. Even a small leak can gradually build up into an explosive concentration of gas.
Do gas pipes leak?
But gas leaks can occur. Over a period of time gas pipes can warp, bend, or break. This damage can create an extremely dangerous leak. If you suspect a leak, evacuate the area immediately and call 911. Over 73 million residential, commercial, and industrial premises in the U.S use natural gas.
What happens when a gas line breaks?
Over a period of time, gas pipes can warp, bend, or break. Exposure and use corrodes old gas lines, wearing away at the outer material until hairline fractures form. As they age, home supply lines may come partially unseated from appliances, causing leaks.
What should you do if you suspect a gas leak?
If you suspect you have a gas leak in your home, you need to leave as soon as possible. Get your entire family (remember the pets!) out of the house. Do not start anything that could generate a spark, like a car engine, for example. Don鈥檛 use light switches or electrical devices. Turn off appliances that are burning gas, like stoves and furnaces.