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How to Detect a Gas Leak in Your Home

Natural gas may be one of the most common energy sources we rely on, but it’s also highly flammable and can lead to dangerous fires or even explosions if there’s a leak that goes undetected. Here are some ways you can detect a gas leak in your home.

What’s That Smell? Signs of a Gas Leak in Your Home

Chances are, natural gas is in your home in some form or fashion. Stoves, water heaters, dryers, heating and cooling systems, and fireplaces can all run on natural gas. Although a reliable source of energy for a lot of our day-to-day needs, natural gas can be extremely dangerous if you don’t pay attention to the warning signs.

Here are a few ways to detect a gas leak in your home:

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  1. 1

    Something smells off

    This is one of the first signs – if there’s an unusual smell of rotten eggs or garbage in your home, you may have a gas leak.

  2. 2

    Listen for any hissing/whistling in your house

    Without moving, take a moment to listen for any whistling or a hissing sound in your house. This could be a sign that a gas line is ruptured in your house.

  3. 3

    Discolored or dead plants

    Are any of your house plants looking droopy or are the leaves discolored? Natural gas can damage and kill vegetation — combined with the possibility of an odor, this could be a sign.

  4. 4

    Use a gas leak detector

    We recommend letting a professional find the source of the leak, but you can use a gas leak detector to measure the amount of natural gas in your air. These devices will let you know if there are dangerous levels present in your home. There are different types of gas leak detectors like hand-held and plug-in devices.

What To Do If You Think You Have a Gas…

What To Do If You Think You Have a Gas Leak

If you suspect a gas leak in your home, evacuate the house and call 911 immediately. Then call your gas company to notify them. It’s better to let a professional find the location of the leak to prevent any mistakes and make sure everyone stays safe.

Also, do not:

  • Turn on any electronics or appliances
  • Turn on the lights
  • Light a match or a candle
  • Turn on your air conditioning
  • Start your vehicle

Natural gas is highly flammable and can ignite if enough of it is present in the air and an ignition source, like a motor or spark, is present.

Being Proactive: Some of the Best Gas Leak Detectors

Being Proactive: Some of the Best Gas Leak Detectors

As a proactive approach, you can purchase a gas leak detector and place it near gas appliances. Having a plug-in device with an alarm can notify you if dangerous levels are detected. Here are 3 highly-rated gas leak detectors you can consider:

  1. Best Gas Leak Detector for LED Display
    Plug-In Natural Gas Detector

    1. Plug-In Natural Gas Detector

    Our rating

    Our take

    This plug-in natural gas detector can be plugged in to a wall socket in your home. It has an LED warning display, voice notification, and a loud 85 dB alarm to alert you if dangerous gas levels are detected. This device can even be used beyond the home for businesses such as restaurants, hotels, schools, and other locations.

    Stand-out features include

    • LED warning display
    • Voice notification
    • 85 dB alarm (as loud as a lawnmower)
  2. Best Carbon Monoxide and Gas Leak Detector
    Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide & Gas Detector Alarm

    2. Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide & Gas Detector Alarm

    Our rating

    Our take

    This plug-in gas detector by Kidde detects dangerous levels of gas and carbon monoxide in the home. It features a digital display and a loud, 85db alarm. The Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide & Gas Detector also remembers the highest level of carbon monoxide detected in your home.

    Stand-out features include

    • Detects both natural gas and carbon monoxide
    • Digital display for levels of CO
    • 85dB alarm (as loud as a lawnmower)
  3. Best Gas Leak Detector for Portable Use
    Portable Y201 Propane & Natural Gas Leak Detector

    3. Portable Y201 Propane & Natural Gas Leak Detector

    Our rating

    Our take

    This portable propane and natural gas detector features a 12 in. sensor neck to test gas pipes or fuel lines. It also features an 85dB alarm and 6 LED notification lights. You can adjust this device’s sensitivity if you want to detect lower levels of gas leaks.

    Stand-out features include

    • 85dB alarm (as loud as a lawnmower)
    • LED light notification
    • Adjustable sensitivity for detection

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Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of Safety.com's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on Today.com and elsewhere.