The Gas Works News Blog

Signs of a Gas Leak and What to do About it

Knowing how to identify the signs of a gas leak can save you and your family from potential injury caused by inhalation of fumes as well as other risks associated with leaking gas.

Natural gas is highly flammable and can pose a serious fire and explosion risk as well as carbon monoxide poisoning in humans and animals alike.

For these reasons, it’s imperative to know the signs of a gas leak and what to do if you suspect there is one in your home.

signs of a gas leak

Signs of a Gas Leak in Your Home

The following are possible signs of a gas leak both inside and outside your home:

  • The smell of rotten eggs

LPG gas is naturally odourless which means that it would normally go undetected in the event of a leak. However, in order to circumvent this issue, manufacturers add certain harmless chemicals to the gas making it smell like rotten eggs and therefore easier to detect.

  • Dying grass and shrubbery

For gas cylinders that are installed outside, it may be hard to smell a leak as it’s not in an enclosed space. However, plantation found near the cylinder may start going brown and can even start dying.

  • Orange flames

Gas flames are mostly blue. This is an indication that the gas installation is free of any problems. However, when there is a leakage, the flames become more yellow and orange than blue. This is another clear sign of a potential gas leak.

  • Hissing sound

If you hissing sound is heard coming from the gas appliance or cylinder, it’s most likely indicative of a gas leak which would require immediate attention.

Physical Symptoms and Signs of a Gas Leak - Natural Gas Leak Health Effects

Apart from signs mentioned above, there are certain physical symptoms that may be experienced by people who are exposed to gas leaks for a long period of time.

These symptoms include:

  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Unexplained headaches
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Irritation in the eyes and throat
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Ringing in the ears

Additionally, pets may also experience physical symptoms of a gas leak which include:

  • Disorientation
  • Changes in behaviour and mood
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

What Causes a Gas Leak?

Generally speaking, gas leaks are most commonly caused by badly installed or faulty appliances and/or lack of proper maintenance of gas appliances.

Badly fitted appliances can result in a gas leak, typically from the gas pipe that leads from the seal to your appliance.

What to do When You Smell Gas?

If you suspect there is a gas leak, it’s important that you do the following:

  • Evacuate all people and animals from the building immediately
  • Leave all the doors and windows open and call the relevant emergency services straight away

Knowing what NOT to do in the event of a gas leak is equally important; don't:

  • turn your lights on (or off)
  • light a flame
  • use any appliances
  • use your phone inside
  • attempt to repair the leak yourself
  • wait in your home for assistance

The Gas Works – Accredited Installers of Gas Appliances in Cape Town

The best way to prevent a gas leak is to ensure that it’s installed properly and serviced regularly. This is done by accredited and qualified gas installers.

Certified installers are able to issue you with a gas clearance certificate to ensure that all the relevant health and safety standards have been complied with during the installation, upgrade, repair or general maintenance.

To keep your family out of harm’s way, it’s best to be informed on the possible signs of a gas leak inside or outside your home, and how to handle the situation in the safest way.

To find out more about gas safety or if you have any other gas related questions, please feel free to contact us.


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