Do Gas Leaks Lead To Fires?

Thursday 6th July 2023

Ellen Warren

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Gas leak on stove

CONTENTS

When you detect a gas smell in your house, there are risks to your physical health and carelessness could ignite a fire. A gas fire can completely devastate your home, so it is imperative that you act fast when you first smell gas.

If a gas fire has damaged your home, you can rely on our fire clean-up services at ICE Cleaning. Our technicians are experts in smoke odour removal and fire restoration, utilising their skills to ensure the complete restoration of your property.

Read on to learn more about gas leaks and how they can lead to fires.

Why do you smell gas in your house?

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the average number of gas-related incidents annually from 2017 to 2022 is 121. These incidents are often due to carbon monoxide poisoning but others are because of an explosion or fire.

Smelling gas in your home is a sign that something has gone wrong on your property. Pipes and gas lines become worn and aged over time, increasing the risk of gas leaks and exposure. You may be smelling gas due to:

  • Poorly fitted pipework
  • A lack of maintenance
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Old pipelines
  • Human error

Do gas leaks lead to fires?

Explosions or fires are one of the most common gas-related incidents resulting in injuries. Although gas leaks may not end with a fire or explosion, it is a significant contributor to house fires in the UK.

A gas leak is more likely to cause carbon monoxide poisoning than cause a fire, but the combination of gas and air creates an explosive element which increases the likelihood of ignition.

Once a gas fire has started, they are difficult to put out and tend to spread quickly. Due to the ignition risk, these fires can result in explosions that cause irreparable damage across your home.

What are the health risks of a gas leak?

Gas leaks slowly reduce oxygen in the air which will begin to affect anyone living in the home. Some of these symptoms might not be obvious for a while, but as your health changes, you should leave the property and report a leak immediately. The first symptoms you may experience could be:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Blistering skin

As well as these symptoms, you may begin to experience carbon monoxide poisoning, which can quickly lead to death if not addressed sooner. There will also be signs around your home that there is a gas leak if you notice:

  • Indoor plants wilting or dying
  • A hissing noise
  • A rotting egg smell
  • Increased gas bills
  • Bubbling in standing water outside your home

How to prevent a gas fire

One of the best ways to prevent a gas leak or fire in the future is to install gas leak and carbon monoxide detectors. Like fire alarms, they will detect gas or carbon monoxide levels in the air and alert you.

When you detect a gas leak, you must act quickly to prevent a gas fire from breaking out and follow these steps:

  • Shut the gas off at the valve if it is safe to do so
  • Do not turn the power off or interact with any electricals
  • Remove all matches, lighters, or igniting tools
  • Contact the National Gas Emergency Service

By conducting regular maintenance on your property, you can identify any risks that may lead to a gas leak and fire sooner.

You must ensure a Gas Safe engineer inspects all boilers or appliances that use gas. They should conduct a yearly assessment, but you can request an earlier inspection if needed.

Why you should not clean gas fire damage

After a gas fire or explosion, there is likely to be a gas leak still present on the property. Gas pipes in the open environment could potentially create a situation where gas continues to leak, making it dangerous to return until qualified engineers turn off the supply.

Traces of carbon monoxide could also linger in the property, putting you at risk of poisoning if you attempt to clean it yourself. Any smoke or fire damage is also dangerous to interact with as smoke or soot particles can quickly line your lungs and lead to respiratory problems.

You must rely on fire damage cleaning services to conduct the cleaning process for you. In the meantime, you should apply for emergency accommodation by reaching out to your local council to explain your circumstances.

Get in touch

When a gas fire or minor explosion has damaged your home and made it unliveable, our technicians here at ICE Cleaning can step in and take control. Our fire cleaning services effectively erase all traces of gas fire residue and carbon monoxide lingering in the air.

If you would like to know more about our industrial cleaning services, reach out to our team at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. Our emergency services are available nationwide, and we will answer your call 24/7, 365 days a year, including bank holidays. 

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