When the dust settled over 300 students and faculty had lost their lives. But what could have caused such a devastating tragedy? Investigators found that a few sparks from an appliance in the woodshop had been the source of the blast. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, as woodshop class used many devices that commonly sparked as students worked on their projects. However, a leaking gas pipe had gone undetected by students and faculty and the gas was ignited by that small spark.
The New London School tragedy is one of the most severe natural gas explosions in American history and one of the first incidents that exemplified just how careful we must be when handling this delicate chemical. After the disaster, Texas required all natural gas be combined with a chemical compound that has an extremely strong odor, making leaks easier to detect. But what can we do to prevent gas leaks in the first place? Below are some helpful safety tips you can follow in your household.
If any of your appliances use natural gas, make sure to schedule routine inspections to make sure they are functioning safely and efficiently. For example, if your pipe connectors were made between 1970 and 1980, they may be significantly worn out and need to be replaced. Additionally, brass connectors wear out more quickly than other materials, so make sure you know what materials your pipes/connectors are made from. Call a licensed professional to perform routine checkups on your appliances and do not attempt to check them alone as mishandling can lead to a dangerous leak.
Gas leaks can not only cause explosions and fires, but also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (or CO) is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can lead to serious illness or even death. Make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home so you will be adequately warned if a gas leak does occur. Note that detectors do not eliminate any of the gas, so if you hear yours going off make sure to evacuate the property at once.
Events like the New London School tragedy must be prevented from occurring again, which is why it is imperative to keep up with your natural gas safety. Though natural gas is now artificially scented as a precaution so that it is easier to detect, the smell is not a noticeable enough indicator to rely on alone. That’s why CO detectors and regular maintenance are important. Natural gas is a great energy source, but if leaks are not immediately attended to or prevented, it can lead to very dangerous consequences.
In order to ensure the safety of you and your family, give the experts of Alco Air a call at (903)-309-1328. Our team will make sure your home’s gas lines and appliances are safe.