Protecting your home from the danger of gas leaks
Learning more about gas detectors
Natural gas is convenient and inexpensive as a method of heating the home; it is also fairly safe, although even the most careful homeowner can experience a gas leak and it is important to be able to detect any leak yourself. Although your gas company is responsible for this, you should still do it yourself and an easy solution is to buy a natural gas detector.
Methane is often associated with the rather unpleasant smell of rotting eggs, although it actually has no smell and the odor is added in so that any methane leak can easily be spotted. Natural gas is largely made up of methane, which is highly flammable as well. Although the nasty smell is distinctive and easy to identify, if you are asleep or have a bad cold, you may not be able to spot it, making a gas detector a good buy.
There are different natural gas detectors available and you should buy one based on budget, as well as the features and ease of installation. One way to decide which gas detector to buy is to base it on how sensitive you would like the system to be and you do not want to set the system off with humidity or smoke, although at the same time you want something that will do the job. An alarm system can also be set off by using a propane grill outside that many people own.
If you are shopping for and comparing natural gas detectors, you should look on the packaging for the LEL, or lower explosive limit, which is a sensitivity rating for gas detectors. In general, a system will let you know that there has been a gas leak more quickly, if it has a lower rating, and it is generally recommended that you look for a medium LEL when choosing a detector.
A natural gas detector typically uses one of two methods to alert you of a leak and it is a matter of personal preference as to which you would prefer. Some systems alert you by means of a light, while some have an actual alarm system, rather like a smoke alarm. A system that has a light is ideal for someone who is hard of hearing; an alarm system is probably a better choice for most people and it is also more practical if the alarm is being used in parts of your home that you do not use as often.
It is essential that your detector is installed correctly, so that it will work properly, so you should always follow the instructions. Ideally, you should also place it somewhere where a gas leak is more likely to occur, and you can also get suggestions about possible locations from the owner's manual. If you still are not sure, an employee with your local gas company can visit your home to advise you.