Gas lines are helpful in your property but when improperly installed, it can do more harm than good.

In some parts of the world, the beginning of October means firing up the heating systems. Among the most inexpensive and most efficient ways to fire up a furnace or boiler is natural gas. True, it has the most advantages. However, it does not necessarily mean that it doesn’t come with safety concerns. As property inspectors, one of our main jobs is to identify deficiencies that can compromise the safety of homeowners. Gas piping concerns are ones that need to be immediately addressed.

gas stoveI conducted a property inspection in Palatine, IL and came upon a significant safety issue. Upon entering the vicinity, I immediately saw the gas meter to the property. Now, that gas meter is running right alongside a wall before the garage. This means that before the car can be parked, it will pass by the wall where the gas line is running. This setup poses a high risk of a gas leak, or worse, fires and explosions. Because the gas line is near the driveway, an unsuspecting person may possibly hit it while moving the car around.

Damages to gas lines most often occur when it is accidentally hit, dented, scraped or gouged. When a gas line is damaged, it interrupts the supply of natural gas. Machinery works that involve digging also exert more precautionary measures as hitting any gas lines on the ground can unveil serious danger.

Apparently, gas explosions kill approximately 65 people annually in the U.S. Whether old or new, gas lines are in need of serious attention to ensure fire prevention. The types of gas piping being used also matters.

Rigid piping – Joints and fittings composed of threaded black iron pipes are more susceptible to gas leaks, fires, and explosions according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Improper installation may result in leaks when constructed with multiple joints. This style of the gas line also deteriorates over time.  Exposure to lightning, earthquakes, and other physical damages can also pave the way for safety issues.

CSST (Corrugated Stainless Steel Gas Tubing) – Unlike rigid piping, the flexibility of this newer style of the gas line allows them to withstand cracking better. These newer lines were installed throughout the US since 1989. Unfortunately, recent findings show how vulnerable these newer lines are to both direct and indirect lightning strikes.


Possible Signs of Gas Leaks

Protect your family from the dangers of gas leak. Be on the lookout for:

          an odor similar to rotten eggs

          hissing and whistling sound near a gas line

          white cloud or dust cloud near a gas line

          bubbles in water or continuous bubbling in wet or flooded areas

          dead houseplants or discolored vegetation

          damaged gas pipe

          abnormally dry or hardened soil



Health Risks of Gas Leaks

Reduction in the amount of oxygen in the air causes the following symptoms:

          breathing difficulties


          feeling lightheaded


          flu-like symptoms



          ringing in the ears


          irritation to eyes and throat

          chest pain

          pale skin or blistering following direct contact with gas

Animals will also experience the above symptoms including vomiting and red or watering eyes.

Symptoms of gas leaks to both people and animals require immediate medical treatment. Make sure to call for an ambulance or go directly to the nearest hospital.


What to do in the event of a Gas Leak?

If there is a gas leak, make sure to DO the following:

          Ensure that all people and pets evacuate the property immediately

          Leave the doors open and immediately call the fire department, 911 or local utility company

NEVER DO the following:

          Never call within the property as it may ignite the gas

          Never search for the source of leak

          Never attempt to repair the leak

          Never switch the household appliances on and off

          Never use lighters, candles, or any source of ignition

          Never keep doors and windows closed

          Never allow the situation to go unreported

If you suspect a gas leak, do the following:

          take not of the symptoms when entering and leaving the property

      if you notice a mild gas smell, turn off the gas pilot immediately. Open the windows and doors and call the utility company to have a certified inspector assess the situation.



Of course, prevention is always better than cure. Keep your family protected.

          Stay educated

Schedule regular inspections. Our property inspection in Palatine, IL will thoroughly evaluate the furnace, chimneys and HVAC systems.

          Keep adequate ventilation

          Install carbon monoxide detectors

          Keep a fire extinguisher

          Store household chemicals such as cleaning supplies and paints away from gas appliances and gas lines.

Although gas leaks are rare, exposure to natural gas can be hazardous and have lasting effects.


Call us today at 847-920-6699 or text us at 847-401-7585 or Schedule your home inspection in Palatine, IL.