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How To Deal With... a Gas Leak


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A gas leak can be caused by anything from a burst pipe to a faulty oven. It sounds like a lot of hassle to deal with but it can be easily sorted safely and quickly.

Not all gas leaks are obvious; most will have a certain smell - except for Carbon Monoxide, which is also invisible and tasteless, making it harder to detect.

Not only is Carbon Monoxide flammable but it is also poisonous and can lead to brain damage and even fatalities. Carbon Monoxide poisoning has very similar symptoms to the flu or even a hangover;: headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, collapsing and loss of consciousness. This can easily be prevented with a Carbon Monoxide alarm which are available for around £10-£20.

If you smell a gas leak or suspect a monoxide leak, here are the seven easy steps to dealing with it safely:

  1. Open windows and ventilate the house as much as possible – This clears the room and allows you to check your appliances which may already be switched on as well as your boiler. Everything should  be burning a blue flame
  2. Don’t turn on or off any electrical switches (lights, doorbells, etc) – they can create a spark enough to start a fire or even an explosion
  3. Don’t smoke and don’t use matches or lighters
If there is a leak or your appliances keep cutting out then:

  1. Call 0800 111 999, it’s free to phone and is a 24-hour emergency number for the National Grid. However, some mobile networks do charge. Do not use your mobile in the house; go outside if you need to use it. You'll be advised on what to do next and someone trained will be sent to you who can either fix it or find a temporary solution (disconnect the appliance for example) so you're safe and don't have to worry
  2. Alert your landlord – let them know what’s happened
  3. If necessary, turn off the gas isolation value – this is usually found under the stairs, under the kitchen sink or outside the house in a metre box. This is simple to do and you don’t need any hi-tech tools to do it. Just turn the handle a quarter so it is on a 90o angle to the pipe.

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