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Safety should be the topmost priority, no matter where you work.
That being said, it is an unfortunate fact that gas leaks occur pretty often – be it at home, in commercial spaces, or in the workplace where there are also combustible materials near. Hence, it is crucial to take specific steps and precautions to prevent accidental gas leaks and potential hazards.
This guide will talk about some of the most common symptoms of a gas leak and how you can prevent it. Of course, in the case of an emergency, we recommend taking preventive measures. Clear the workplace, and call emergency workers at the earliest.
So, without further ado, let us get straight into the guide.
Gas leaks typically go unnoticed by most people, making them all the more hazardous. Since most gases are colourless and odourless, it can be quite challenging to notice a leak in an affected area – until it is too late. In most cases, you won’t be able to smell gas and activate the fire alarm to warn others to evacuate the office.
And these leaks can lead to explosions which can even turn fatal. Besides the obvious risk of a blast, long-term exposure to certain gases can be toxic and incredibly harmful to your health.
This can lead to breathing difficulties, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, dizziness and nausea, and nosebleeds. While it is recommended to follow certain safe practices to prevent a gas leak, sometimes, it may occur despite all precautions.
In that case, you need to take immediate action to remove as much gas from the enclosed area as possible. Then, ensure that everyone in the building is safely evacuated. And call the authorities and emergency personnel immediately.
The longer an individual is exposed to a gas leak, the more risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and hospitalisation.
One of the most common signs of a gas leak is an unpleasant, sulphurous odour, similar to rotten eggs. Observing keenly and not ignoring this smell is essential, as it is typically associated with harmful gas emissions.
If you smell any such odour, open all doors and windows immediately. You can also ask your colleagues if they notice any similar smells. And ensure that you speak to a professional about it at the earliest.
It may take some time to notice this sign, but try to check for strange whistling or hissing sounds near a gas line. This is a sure sign of a gas leak, and if you notice it, you should take immediate action.
You and your colleagues might be watering and taking the best care of the plants in the office. However, you might notice them wilting or dying without any good reason.
Well, dying or wilting plants may signify a gas leak. If you are unsure about it, it is best to speak to a professional and call them over to check the gas lines at the office.
A few other signs you should look out for include –
Now that you know about the most common signs to look for, here are a few preventive measures against gas leaks.
First and foremost, it is vital to conduct meetings and courses designed to educate people about fire and gas safety. It’s imperative to educate everyone about how to spot signs of a gas leak, the preventive measures to be taken, and how to prevent gas leaks.
Furthermore, ensure that there are multiple emergency contact numbers displayed in clear, accessible areas that people can use in the case of an emergency.
Next, it is important to schedule periodic inspections by certified inspectors at the workplace. Ensure that all the gas lines, pipes, and appliances are checked regularly and note if they are working correctly. If there is some issue, don’t delay and speak to a professional gas fitter about the repair.
Usually, you can find a shutoff switch near every gas supply meter. In the case of a gas leak, immediately shut down the gas supply to prevent further leakage.
The next step you should take is to open all doors and windows to let the trapped gas out of the room. Also, ensure that no person at the workplace lights anything flammable, as the results could be disastrous.
There should be an adequate number of fire extinguishers kept at the workplace; these can be used in the case of an emergency. Also, make it a point to teach everyone in the office about using these tools in emergencies.
It is best not to attempt to handle a significant gas leak or a fire hazard on your own. You’ll need a competent person with knowledge of the preventative measures one should take for the situation not to worsen or escalate. So, ensure that everyone is evacuated from the premises safely and call for professional help.
Preventing a gas leak at the workplace may not be the easiest thing to do. However, taking small steps and handling the situation calmly can reduce the risk. And having basic knowledge of some preventative measures are also a huge plus.
In the case of an emergency, remember that it is vital not to panic, as it will cause a domino effect among others to present there. Stay calm, assess the situation correctly, and take the appropriate steps to ensure their safety and your own.
Lastly, leave the job to the professionals and call for help as soon as possible.