Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed by layers of buried plants and animals that are exposed to intense heat and pressure under ground over thousands of years. The energy from these plants and animals is stored in the form of carbon in the gas. Natural gas is combusted to generate electricity, enabling this stored energy to be transformed into usable power. Natural gas also is used directly for heating or cooking in our homes. It’s completely safe when it is sealed inside gas pipes and used correctly.
Natural gas is a relatively safe, efficient fuel source because of the physical characteristics of the gas itself. Natural gas has a very narrow range of flammability. It will only burn in a concentration between 4 to 15 percent per volume of air. Natural gas will also dissipate into the air quickly. It also has a very high ignition temperature, at about 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. Because natural gas is odorless, most providers add an odorant that has a distinctive smell similar to rotten eggs or skunks.
Natural gas safety tips
- Keep all natural gas appliances clean and properly maintained.
- Never block air vents that supply air to your appliances.
- Do not store any flammable materials in or near the natural gas appliances.
- Don’t use your oven or stovetop to heat your home or dry clothes.
- Keep the area around your furnace and water heater clear and clean.
- Never leave the stovetop or oven unattended while it’s in use.
You may have a gas leak if:
- Hissing sound near a gas line or gas appliance along with a rotten egg odor
- A gas meter dial that continues to move after all gas appliances and equipment have been shut off
- Dead or dying vegetation above a buried gas line in an otherwise green area
- Bubbles above a buried gas line after watering or rain
- “Rotten egg” or “skunky” odor either inside or outside your home
- Dirt or air blowing from a hole where a gas line may be exposed
If you suspect you have a gas leak:
- Leave the area immediately and call 911 and Baker Brothers, 214-892-2225. Use a neighbor’s phone if necessary. Yu should also call your provider, http://www.houstontx.gov/ara/regaffairs/utility.html
- Turn off the emergency shut off valve located where the line enters your home, if possible.
- Do not return to your home until the area is declared safe.
- Don’t touch anything that might create a spark., like televisions, telephones, cell phones, light switches, garage door openers, vehicles, etc..
- Avoid carpeted areas to prevent sparks of static electricity.
An easy way to tell if gas appliances are adjusted properly and are getting enough oxygen is to check the color of the flame. The flame should be about 90 percent blue. A yellow flame indicates the appliance isn’t functioning properly and could be giving off harmful fumes. However, not all problems with gas appliances will cause a yellow pilot light and not all pilot lights are visible.
A city permit may be required for any repair work. We will manage all permitting for you. This ensures your safety and that of your neighbors. After our repairs are complete, the city inspector and the gas company will inspect our work. Your city codes may require that the entire gas system be brought up to current code standards. Our professional plumbers can perform the necessary work to ensure your system meets these requirements.