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Trust your nose: How to check your gas grill for a leak

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Natural gas is an efficient, convenient, and money-saving energy source used in many homes. However, it's highly flammable, and every so often, you'll see a news story where a natural gas leak led to a home explosion.

Here at vipHomeLink, we're all about preventing the preventable, and our Founder and CEO Alfred Bentley recently had a gas situation at his home. Landscapers accidently hit the family's grill and created a tiny puncture in the natural gas line.

That spurred us to put together these safety tips to help prevent a worst-case scenario if your grill is leaking gas. 

First – Trust your nose (instincts) 

Thnk you smell gas? Call 911.

If you smell that "gas" smell, get out of the house and call 9-1-1. Do not use your phone or any electrical devices until you are at least 350 feet away. Any of these devices (including your cell phone) can ignite the gas.

After you call 9-1-1, call your utility company, which generally will be at your house within an hour. Do not return to your home until a licensed professional or the fire department deems it safe. 

Second – Learn gas safety  

Alfred has a few tips to help you stay safe.

You should always call a professional when dealing with gas; however, if you have a gas grill or additional gas appliances, it's a good idea to perform regular maintenance, seasonally and any time you deem necessary. This includes performing a gas grill leak test, which uses a gas leak detector solution.

(If you don't have a gas leak detector solution on hand, you can use soapy water or dish soap in a spray bottle, but we recommend using a certified solution. This way, you know if you have a gas leak on the tank valve or gas cylinder.)

Watch as Alfred completes the test to check his grill's hoses and connections. 

You can also use this technique if you have a propane tank for your grill; however, we do not recommend testing your grill and gas tank if you hear a hissing sound or suspect you have a leak. Instead, move 350 feet away and call 9-1-1.

Also, great for homes with gas heating and appliances, you may want to invest in a combustible gas sensor, which can easily confirm if gas is present in your home where it shouldn't be. You should also consider a smart gas detector. This sends alerts to your phone about gas leaks you may not have smelled or one that occurs when you're not home. 

Don't forget to turn off the gas when you're not using your grill, and always be safe when grilling. Here a few more tips to keep you chilling and grilling safely all summer long, and once winter rolls around, check out these gas fireplace safety tips from PSE&G.


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