As victims in East Harlem, NYC learned this week, a gas leak is a serious danger that can have devastating, even tragic consequences. With that in mind, we want our Delaware alarm systems customers to know what to do if they smell gas in the home or believe there may be a gas leak. According to Delmarva Power, our own gas company here in New Castle County, this is what to do if you smell mercaptan, the odor that is added to natural gas so that people can detect gas leaks:
- Immediately extinguish all open flames, such as candles, cigarettes, kerosene lamps and heaters.
- Alert everyone in the area of the potential danger and evacuate the area.
- Do not touch any light switches, use the phone, or use a flashlight as you leave. You want to avoid any actions that could cause a spark; believe it or not, any of those actions can cause a spark and trigger an explosion.
- Move a safe distance away from the building – then, call Delmarva Power at (302) 454-0317 to report the leak. If you have any trouble with the phone call, just call 911.
- Stay a safe distance away from the building until Delmarva and/or emergency responders tell you it is safe to re-enter.
The fact that any ignition action, including a phone call or light switch, could trigger a gas explosion is something that everyone needs to know. Tell your friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable, such as the elderly. Children who stay home alone also need to know this.
There doesn’t have to be much gas in the air in order for the risk to be present; an explosion could be triggered when the air is saturated with gas by as little as 5-15%. As your Delaware alarm systems provider, we want you and your loved ones to be protected from all threats to your safety.