Does your home have gas appliances? When compared to electric appliances, gas appliances offer several benefits. Among other things, they typically cost less to operate, are more powerful, and they are easier to use. The downside to gas appliances, however, is that they pose a higher risk of injury when used improperly. Whether you have a gas-powered stove, furnace or any other appliance, you should follow these five safety tips to minimize your risk of injury.
#1) Beware of Odor
Natural gas is typically odorless. However, most natural gas companies add chemical like mercaptan to give their gas a more distinct and noticeable odor. If you smell an unusual odor in your home -- typically like rotten eggs -- leave and contact your natural gas provider immediately.
#2) Vacuum and Clean Lint
It's important to vacuum and clean lint around the gas appliances in your home. Dust, dirt and lint can easily ignite when exposed to a gas flame. And once this debris catches fire, it may spread to other parts of your home. By vacuuming and cleaning lint around your gas appliances, you can prevent this from happening.
#3) Double-Check to Ensure Gas Appliances Are Turned Off
Always double-check to ensure that gas appliances are turned off when neither you nor anyone else in your home is using them. If you leave a gas stove on, for example, it will continue to release natural gas -- even if it isn't lit. As this gas fills your home, it creates a hazardous environment for you and your family.
#4) Open Doors or Windows
Try to get into the habit of opening at least one door or window when using a gas appliance. Gas appliances don't produce much carbon monoxide, but they do produce some of this toxic gas. By opening the doors or windows, you can rest assured knowing that carbon monoxide won't build up inside your home.
#5) Get Your Gas Appliances Inspected
When was the last time that your gas appliances were professionally inspected? Most homeowners rarely if ever get their gas appliances inspected. It's only when a gas appliance fails that homeowners typically hire a professional to inspect it. Unfortunately, this often results in minor problems being overlooked. By hiring a professional to inspect your gas appliances at least once a year, you can rest assured knowing they are safe to use inside your home.