Household gas is an inexpensive fuel that is still used to create favorable living conditions in private and low-rise buildings. Thanks to gasification, townspeople can use stoves and ovens, and boiler owners never suffer from a lack of heating and hot water.
At the same time, gas is a source of danger, and if the norms for the installation or use of gas equipment are violated, property and the residents of high-rise buildings may suffer. One of the first signs of potential danger is an unpleasant, specific odor.
To prevent irreversible consequences, there are instructions for both residents and employees of Gorgaz. In this article, we will analyze in detail what to do if the entrance smells of gas, where to call and who to report the leak.
The content of the article:
What should I do if I smell gas?
- Causes of unpleasant gas smell
- Why do domestic gas leaks occur?
- First actions upon detection
- What should not be done in the event of a leak?
- Preventive measures and rules
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
What should I do if I smell gas?
It is a mistake to think that blue fuel comes to homes directly from the bowels of the earth. In fact, on the way from the mine to the gas stove, it goes through several stages of processing. The composition of the gas is changed so that it is supplied to homes and businesses that is usable and safe for people.
The basis of the fuel mixture is approximately 75-80% methane, besides it there are carbon dioxide, propane, butane, hydrogen sulfide and water vapor.
The high pressure of the main gas, reaching 11 MPa or more, is not suitable for domestic use, therefore at the gas distribution station it is reduced to an operating value of 1.2 MPa
Is it possible to get poisoned with methane at the entrance? Most likely no. But a large concentration of it in the air at the entrance or in the apartment can lead to explosion or a fire - but this is already a real danger for a multi-storey building.
Consider the reasons for the leakage of household fuel in a residential building and find out what actions are taken when there is a smell of gas in the entrance.
Causes of unpleasant gas smell
In order to prevent and protect people and buildings from the negative consequences of using explosive household mixtures, special substances are added to them - odorants. The unpleasant smell when leaking belongs to them, and not to natural gas itself, which almost does not smell.
Most often used as a marker for household gas methyl mercaptan - gas with the same disgusting odor as rotten cabbage. Even a small amount of this "flavor" is quickly identified by an ordinary user, and it is rather difficult to confuse it with something else.
There is no need to be afraid that foul-smelling toxic additives can be dangerous - their concentration in household fuel is quite small to be harmful to health
In addition to methyl mercaptan, ethyl mercaptan, which also has a pungent odor and good volatility.
Unfortunately, too restless residents often confuse the smell of gas with other harsh "odors". Sometimes situations reach the point of absurdity: a spilled bottle of White Spirit or a leaked can of kerosene causes a call to the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
Do not forget that for a false call there are administrative sanctions - fines 1-1.5 thousand rub. And if this is a false report about a gas leak in a public institution, it is already coming criminal liability with all the ensuing consequences: or a fine of up to 200 thousand. rub., or up to 5 years.
But not everything is so scary. If the call is recognized as erroneous (an old grandmother "overdid it" or a small child decided to save the house, not having dealt with the smells in the entrance), firefighters or representatives of the gas service will simply turn around and will leave.
According to statistics, about 150 applications are received daily in Moscow with complaints about the smell of gas (10 years ago there were about 700-800). But only 5% of the total are confirmed, the rest are erroneous
It is clear that a person is not gas analyzer, therefore, cannot accurately determine the composition of substances in the air, therefore, experts urge to turn on the mind and soberly assess the situation.
Why do domestic gas leaks occur?
It is easier to react at critical moments if the reason is obvious.
But at the entrance just with the definition of the cause, difficulties may arise, because the smell can seep from three places:
On the street, gas pipes are most often laid underground and led out in front of the wall of a residential multi-storey building.
Pipes and fittings of the gas line are mounted in accordance with the requirements of GOST and SNiP, at a certain distance from windows and doors of houses in order to protect from accidental mechanical damage
A hole in a pipe on the street is an extremely rare occurrence. Strong steel withstands storm-fallen trees and hammer blows. But if the tightness of the pipe is broken, the gas outlet in the free space is difficult to determine by smell. But you can hear a noise similar to a hiss with a whistle.
If a crack or hole is near the entrance door, then some of the gas will get inside the house - hence the possible smell from the street.
If a breakdown in a pipe on the street can still be seen visually or determined by noise, then the leak in the room cannot be found immediately - locked doors will prevent it
The easiest thing to do is to quickly alert neighbors of the suspicion. At this stage, it is not uncommon to find out that someone's house has been leaked due to worn out hose or a broken torch. Equipment can also break down in the basement if a boiler is installed there or a branch to the stove is laid (although this is prohibited by the installation requirements).
The reasons for the leak include the following:
- installation of old or low-quality equipment;
- violation of installation rules;
- violation operating rules;
- untimely replacement of gas hoses, etc.
Mounting flaws can be identified by the color of the flames: instead of the "correct" blue, they have a reddish or yellow tint.
Leakage of the joints can be checked in the traditional way: dip a sponge in soapy water and apply it to a suspicious place. If the soap foams, the emergency zone has been found.
We have considered in more detail methods of detecting a leak in this material.
First actions upon detection
The smell in the staircase most often penetrates from the apartments, so you need to try to find housing where the leak has occurred. The only thing that can be done in the corridor is to open wide the windows or vents. If they are closed tightly, you need to open the driveway doors, propping them up with a stone or a stick.
According to SP 2.13130.2012, the sash on the windows in the entrance must be active - that is, it is easy to open and close. This requirement is dictated by fire safety rules
Since both pipes and gas equipment are located in apartments, all further actions are performed there.
First of all, you need:
- Open all doors and windows as quickly as possible. If the smell is too strong, a protective cloth should be used.
- If there is a landline telephone in the room, disconnect it so that the bell does not sound.
- Shut off the cut-off gas cock and all the taps on the equipment.
- Leave the apartment, turning off the power supply on the switchboard on the way.
- Make a call to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, emergency gas or fire service.
Do not enter the house until specialists arrive and eliminate the danger. If possible, notify all residents of the house about the threat of an explosion and make sure that they also leave their apartments.
And now we'll find out where to call - if there is a smell of gas either in the entrance or in the apartment.
A call from a landline phone is made to number 04, but it is better to call from a neighboring house. 112 is a universal number of a single rescue service, valid even with a locked SIM card
For such cases, mobile operators provide the ability to make calls to emergency services even with a negative or zero balance:
- Megaphone - 040
- MTS - 040
- Tele2 - 040
- Beeline - 004
Gorgaz employees insist that calls should be made from the street, by mobile phone. You should not call from a gas-polluted entrance.
The emergency service representatives act according to the instructions. Arriving, they must find the place of the leak, register this fact and take measures to eliminate the danger.
Gas emergency service personnel arrive to the call in a yellow service car. They are necessarily dressed in uniforms, often with an inscription or logo of the city or district service.
The service car contains everything that is necessary to establish the fact of a leak and repair the gas pipeline and equipment: gas analyzers, spare hoses and taps, keys, cleaning tools
One of the main tools for determining the level of danger is a universal gas analyzer, with which you can accurately measure doses of methane, carbon dioxide, propane and other gases.
If the percentage of combustible gases in the air allows, Gorgaz employees perform a number of actions, starting with checking the concentration of harmful substances using a gas analyzer
According to any instruction, it is necessary to open windows and doors first. If the windows do not give way, it is allowed to use locksmith tools
In some houses, gas pipes pass through the corridor - in this case, a leak is possible due to depressurization or wear of the connections. This requires verification
If a leak is found right in the corridor, a gas worker repairs or replaces the worn out element. Most often, gas seeps out due to depressurization of the pipeline at the junction
Before starting work, specialists cut off the flow of fuel to the staircase and post a notice, which indicates the reason for the shutdown of the gas and provides instructions for residents
Gas service vehicle
Emergency Response Tools
Gas analyzer for determining the concentration of substances in the air
The specialist makes a control measurement
Gas employee opens a window
Gas pipes in the hallway
Repair or replacement of gas pipeline elements
Announcement for the tenants of the house
Usually there are several people in the team at the same time, so all measures to eliminate the leak are completed quickly. After the completion of the work, the foreman calls the control room, and the team returns to the base.
What should not be done in the event of a leak?
One wrong move - and the house can fly up into the air, so let's figure out what cannot be done if there is a smell of gas:
- light matches, use a lighter;
- enter a room with a burning cigarette;
- try to call from a polluted room;
- turn on the light or any electrical appliances;
- turn off switched on electrical appliances to avoid sparking.
It is also forbidden to return to an apartment or corridor where there is a smell of gas until the hazard is eliminated by specialists.
It is a big mistake to call neighbors by pressing the bell button. It can also trigger an explosion. It is recommended to knock - this is more effective, since the knocking usually spreads throughout the entire entrance
You cannot use the elevator because there is a risk of getting stuck there.
If the gas coming out of the pipe catches fire, it cannot be extinguished. As long as the fire is burning, there will be no explosion. You need to open the window and close the valve.
Preventive measures and rules
So that the unpleasant smell of gas does not bother the residents of the house, either in the apartment or in the entrance, a number of requirements must be met. And the most important of them is to use gas stoves and water heaters correctly, because half of the troubles occur precisely because of the irresponsible attitude towards equipment operation.
Apartment owners are obliged to:
- use serviceable equipment with an acceptable service life;
- use the technique strictly for its intended purpose;
- follow the schedule service (annual preventive examinations);
- repair pipeline elements or replace hoses on time.
The installation and connection of new equipment is carried out by representatives of the gas service.
If the owner of the apartment independently installed the hob or connected the oven, the gasman must check the tightness of the connections and document this. Otherwise, such a user is threatened fines.
Any violation is punishable by fines, but this is not the worst thing. A frivolous owner endangers the health and lives of his family and neighbors
In no case should you carry out welding work yourself or carry gas pipes to another place.
All measures for transfer, replacement must be agreed with the service organization.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Concise and clear instructions on gas leaks:
General tips for leak detection:
The smell of gas does not appear just like that - it is always a signal of danger, requiring concentration and utmost attention.
If you live in a multi-storey building connected to a gas supply system, be always on the alert and call the gas service at the first sign of a leak. Only specialists can determine the cause of the danger and eliminate it..
An extremely unpleasant smell has appeared in your entrance and do you suspect that its cause lies in a gas leak? Or are you in doubt if this is really a leak? Ask your questions to our experts and other visitors to our site with personal experience of leak detection - the feedback form is located below this publication.