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If you smell gas around your water heater, it’s essential to take immediate action, as there could be a gas leak which can be very dangerous. Follow these steps:
Evacuate the Area: Ensure everyone in the home or building is made aware of the possible gas leak and evacuate the premises immediately. Gas leaks can potentially lead to a fire or explosion if not addressed right away.
Avoid Igniting a Spark: Do not use any electronic devices, including phones, light switches, or anything that might generate a spark. The smallest spark could ignite the gas.
Shut Off the Gas, if Safe: If the gas odor is not overwhelming and it’s safe to stay in the area briefly, turn off the gas supply to the water heater. The gas supply valve is usually located near the water heater on the gas line. Turn the valve so it’s perpendicular to the line to stop the flow of gas.
Call for Help: Once everyone is safe and clear of the area, call your gas company’s emergency line or the fire department to report the smell of gas. It’s critical to do this from outside the home or a safe distance away to avoid creating a spark that could cause a fire or explosion.
Don’t Return Until It’s Safe: Do not re-enter the premises until it has been declared safe by the gas company or the fire department. A professional should inspect the water heater to determine the cause of the leak and perform any necessary repairs.
As the Water Heater Doctor, your safety is our primary concern. If you ever smell gas, we urge you to take these steps to ensure the well-being of everyone in your home or building. Once the situation is under control, we can help assess your water heater and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
To minimize fire risks, keep flammable materials at least 18 inches away from your water heater. This includes paper, rags, aerosols, gasoline, paint thinners, and cleaning agents. This is particularly important for gas water heaters, but it’s a good safety habit for all types.
In earthquake-prone areas, water heaters should be secured with straps to prevent them from tipping over during a quake. This reduces the risk of gas leaks, water damage, and even fires. Make sure your water heater is professionally installed and anchored to the wall or floor as required by local codes.
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