If you were around Oldham in Greater Manchester last June 26, 2012, you probably heard of the 2012 Oldham explosion. Even if you weren’t, I’m sure you’ve heard of the news or saw the Wikipedia article on it. It was a pretty devastating incident that caused the death of a 2-year old kid and caused over a million pounds worth of damage. The cause of this event was a gas leak and the perpetrator was a then 27 year old man who has since been charged with manslaughter.
It seems horrific but such tragic events can ensue if we fail to report or detect gas leaks. Even the slightest hint should set off an instant alarm and action should be taken at once. Here are some tips to keep in mind for such an occasion.
- Refrain from using naked flames or smoking near gas leaks. Even the tiniest of sparks is enough to cause an explosion.
- Be sure you inform your neighbours and other people in the immediate area. They are directly affected and should be made aware of such hazards.
- Call the National Grid Emergency Service at 0800 111 999 and you will be directed to their call centre. They are open round the clock and can immediately assist you. Just be sure you are ready with pertinent information such as your address or the location of the suspected leak, how many people are potentially at risk, how long you’ve noticed the smell as well as your name and contact number. Having these at hand will make your conversation with them all the more quicker which can result in faster action.
- When you’re ready to evacuate, open all the doors and windows. This will allow the gas to leave the affected area thus minimizing the damage caused by a subsequent explosion.
- Contact your gas supplier and inform them about the leak. They’ll be able to turn off the supply from their end and also give you advice on how to proceed.
- Switch off the device or appliance that you suspect is causing the leak. Avoid using it until it has been deemed safe by a registered engineer.
- Double check the head count to ensure everyone has vacated the premises. Not everyone may have been able to smell the gas and sense the danger.
- Turn off the gas at the main switch. It should stop any further leaks.
- In the event that you or someone close by feels faint or ill, seek medical assistance right away. Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous and can cause minor damage if remedied as soon as possible.
We hope you take all these tips seriously. They work for premises of all sizes. As long as you keep these in mind, gas leaks won’t escalate to fatal accidents.