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Knowing the Dangers of Gas & CO Leaks

In light of recent events, Columbia Richland Fire wants to make sure all area residents know the risks created by having natural gas or carbon monoxide leaks in a home or business.

Gas Leaks

Natural gas can pose a huge danger if it’s leaking. In its natural state gas has no color and no odor. However an odor is added to the gas to help you detect a potential leak.

IF YOU SMELL GAS (typically a rotten egg odor)

1. Leave the area immediately!
2. Warn others to stay away!
3. From a safe place outside, call 9-1-1 AND your gas company.


-smoke, use a lighter or strike a match
-use any electric switch, telephone or cell phone or flashlight as they can cause sparks and ignite gas
-start or stop nearby vehicles, machinery or things that may spark
-try to turn natural gas valves on or off

If your home or business uses natural gas, your gas provider can be a great source of further information.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is called ‘the invisible killer’ for a reason.

It’s an invisible, odorless and colorless gas that can poison you over a period of time.

That’s why having a working CO detector in your home is CRITICAL!

Tips to Remember About CO & CO Detectors

  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.

For further information on CO and symptoms of CO poisoning, click here.