Unfortunately, tragedies caused by a gas leak are often accompanied by a large number of victims. Agree that no one is immune from troubles and misfortunes, even within the walls of their own home. Therefore, it is so important to know how to behave and what to do if suddenly there is a smell of gas in your house.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the reasons why the usual blue fuel turns into deadly enemy, we will tell you about how to identify a leak and how to properly act in an emergency situations.
The content of the article:
- Properties and features of household gas
- What to do in the event of a gas leak?
- Safe use of gas equipment
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Properties and features of household gas
In order to better remember the algorithm of actions in case of a sudden gas leak and understand why such an extreme situation is possible in general, it is worth figuring out what is so familiar to us fuel. Indeed, under certain circumstances, the gas, even during an emergency leak, begins to ignite, but does not explode. What is the reason for this and what is needed in order for negligence or technical malfunction to turn into an explosion?
Gas supply systems for residential buildings and institutions contain natural gas, which has undergone serious preprocessing. Unnecessary impurities are removed from it and enriched with special substances in order to maximize the efficiency and safety of use in everyday life.
In the composition of natural gas, the largest share of all substances is methane. It is flammable, colorless, odorless and lighter than air, so it travels to the top of the room if it leaks.
The lightness of methane is one of the reasons the ventilation openings are placed at the top. With this location of the grate, gas and combustion products more easily go into the ventilation system.
To make it easier to detect the fact of an emergency gas leak, special odorants are added to the methane, which endow the mixture with such a familiar smell. That's why identify a leak it is possible not only with the help of a gas alarm, but also thanks to your own sense of smell. Quite often, the etching gas jet emits a characteristic hissing sound.
In addition to methane, household gas also contains other substances: ethane, carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen sulfide, propane and butane. The last two types of gas are quite toxic.
Surprisingly, with incredibly powerful gas explosion, which in strength can be compared with the detonation of more than 10 kg of TNT, the volume of fuel leakage can be only a few liters. Why is household gas so destructive?
Gas detonation in many ways resembles the principle of operation of a vacuum bomb, and the explosion itself is more appropriate to call the burnout of the gas-air mixture, since only one spark is needed to start the process. The movement of gas molecules is chaotic. Depending on the external conditions and the density of the gas, the speed of movement of its molecules can increase, tens of times higher than the wind speed during powerful hurricanes.
In the room, oxygen from the air binds with the fuel, and a zone of very rarefied air is formed in the most gassed volume. At the moment of ignition, the pressure drops almost instantly, due to which the air rushes in one wave to the discharged epicenter.
At the epicenter of the explosion, the air becomes too dense and rushes back to the periphery, forming a shock blast wave. Since the volume of the room is quite limited, as is the amount of air involved in the detonation, the force of the shock wave becomes incredibly destructive.
In fact, gas detonation is possible when the concentration of methane in the room is at the level of 5.3 - 14%. And for propane-butane, the explosive range is from 1.5 to 10%. If the concentration of an explosive gas exceeds the upper limit, then instead of an explosion, a fire occurs, which is no less dangerous for consumers.
What to do in the event of a gas leak?
If the room smells strongly of gas, then a completely natural reaction of the man in the street is panic. And in this state, it is difficult to immediately figure out where to call and what to do if the apartment smells of gas.
But, given the information provided above, it becomes clear that the person who found the leak needs to perform two main actions to prevent fuel detonation: avoid sparkingwhich can provoke an explosion and reduce gas concentration as much as possible in room.
In order to achieve these vital tasks, you need to keep your cool and take the following steps.
- Disconnect all gas appliances and shut off the gas supply craneif possible.
- Open windows to allow air flow and gas outlet to the outside. A strong draft is the main weapon against gas pollution, therefore, it is necessary to open the frames not only in the room where the leak occurred, but also in the rooms located in the opposite part of the apartment.
- Leave the house and, being at the entrance, de-energize the apartment by turning off the power in the dashboard.
- Call the emergency gas service at 104 or 04 or the single emergency number 112.
While carrying out these measures, listen to yourself and control your own condition.
If you just entered the entrance and heard the smell of gas, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with detailed algorithm of actions in case of a gas leak at the entrance.
Gas poisoning can lead to loss of consciousness, so try to inhale less polluted air and leave the room as soon as possible
To prevent the formation of a fatal spark, you need to know what absolutely must not be done if you smell gas.
These manipulations will help to reduce the level of gas concentration in the apartment:
- Do not use matches or a lighter in or around a polluted room.
- Do not turn on lights and household appliances.
- Do not turn off appliances that are already in operation. A spark is produced at the moment the current starts to flow and at the moment when it stops. Therefore, pulling out the plug of a working TV from the outlet in a room with a gas leak is quite dangerous. An already lit light bulb is less likely to provoke an explosion.
- If the place where the leak has formed is on fire, never try to extinguish the flame.
- Do not try to locate the leak yourself. Firstly, it will not give anything, since the gas service should be engaged in restoring the network and preventing an accident. Secondly, it is dangerous to be in the apartment at this moment.
It is also important not to call the hotline from a gaseous home: the operation of a mobile or landline phone can also become a source of spark. Use your smartphone on the street.
It is important to install gas leak detectors in rooms where gas equipment is used. Such a sensor will notify homeowners of an accident even before the gas concentration reaches dangerous levels.
If there are unconscious people in the apartment, the algorithm of actions will be somewhat different. Speed remains vital: no one should stay indoors for long periods.
Remember, methane is not overly toxic. However, when it ignites, carbon monoxide is formed, poisoning with which is very dangerous and can be fatal.
The algorithm of actions in the presence of unconscious victims is as follows:
- Before entering the apartment, while on the landing, take a full chest of air and hold your breath.
- Enter your home and don't close the front door.
- Open the windows, then quickly carry the victim out of the apartment. In the cold season, warm things may remain in the hallway, try to take the victim's outerwear with you.
- Take your loved one out of the entrance, call the emergency gas service and an ambulance for your loved one. Perform resuscitation as needed.
- If there is a strong smell of gas in the entrance, open the front door and windows. If the latter do not open, they can be broken to create the necessary level of thrust to accelerate the release of gas to the outside.
- If there is someone else in the apartment, take a breath and, taking in the maximum air in your lungs, return for a relative.
When helping a dear person, do not forget about yourself. If you feel unwell and lose consciousness, immediately leave the apartment, entrusting the rescue of a loved one to professionals.
In an unconscious state, you will not be able to help anyone and will only exacerbate the tragedy without having time to notify the emergency services about the incident.
Safe use of gas equipment
Preventing an irreparable situation is easier than surviving its consequences. Sometimes it is carelessness and negligence that become the reasons for the death of people.
It is necessary to provide access to the apartment to the specialists of the gas service in time, who must annually check the condition of the equipment and main pipes
Therefore, it is so important to observe the elementary safety regulations during the operation of any gas equipment.
- Repair, adjustment and modification of gas equipment can only be entrusted to a certified specialist. Independent intervention in the operation of the devices is unacceptable.
- Any equipment malfunction is a reason to refuse to operate it until the breakdown is eliminated by a representative of the gas company with which you have contract signed for THAT.
- A gas pipe brought into an apartment cannot be used as a fixture. Even a clothesline tied to the mains can cause gas leaks.
- The ventilation system is a guarantee of the safety of all households. Check the thrust level regularly and report to the appropriate services if it drops.
- Limit children's access to gas equipment.
- Do not leave running equipment unattended.
- Do not use stove burners or oven as a heating source.
- Keep the burners clean and regularly clean them of combustion products.
- When using gas cylinders, observe their requirements. placement and operation.
- Always close the gas valve if you plan to be away from home for a long time.
Do not rely solely on your own sense of smell to detect a leak in a timely manner.
Gas alarm installation or gas leak sensor will help to identify gas leakage in the initial stages and contact the emergency service in time.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
The author of the following video talks about the places where leakage can most often occur, and methods of detecting leakage:
The actions during the leak and the symptoms of gas poisoning are briefly described in a video from the Civil Protection Department of the Russian Emergencies Ministry:
Timely detection of a domestic gas leak and correct actions in the process of liquidating an accident is the key to ending the incident without casualties and serious damage.
Do not neglect the safety rules when operating gas appliances, periodically ventilate the premises and always provide gas service workers with access to housing for routine inspections of equipment and ventilation systems. Remember that not only your life and health, but also the people around you depend on your consciousness..
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