ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – A local fire chief says home explosions are rare, though there are things you can do now to avoid a disaster later.
Rockford Fire Division Chief Matthew Knott says home explosions from gas vary in how much destruction they cause. Some can be fatal while others can just damage part of the house. He says most of the issues they deal with in Rockford have to do with natural gas.
“Gas is delivered safely, but it has an odorant that’s added to it that does alert us if there is an issue very quickly and much more accurately than some of the initial detection equipment we have.”
One of the main ways to prevent this is to have your gas-related appliances checked once a year by a qualified technician. They can check for leaks and other things that need to be replaced or repaired. Destruction from gases varies on each gas and how much is in the air. In either case, Chief Knott says if you smell gas, call your gas company and alert the fire department.
Chief Knott says deaths from gas-related home explosions are rare and depend on the gas itself and how much a person is exposed to. He says gases have a distinct smell, almost like a rotten egg. If the issue involves an electrical appliance, avoid messing with it to prevent it from igniting a spark.
“If we have an issue, the best bet is to just leave it and go. We don’t want to create any situation that could perhaps generate a spark or cause any other issues. If you suspect an issue, leave the building and call for help.”
Chief Knott adds people should also learn how to properly turn off the gas meters and other utilities in their homes.
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