Natural gas poisoning is a constant threat to our lives. Many of us enjoy the comfort of natural gas for heating, cooking, and domestic hot water in our homes. However, certain measures are due for safe use of natural gas.  

Before reaching our homes, natural gas is delivered to buildings and homes via a curb box by local natural gas distribution companies. You will then have to arrange with any of the certified firms in your area, listed on the website of EMRA, to connect and activate your natural gas pipeline. Today, we have various technologies for safe use of natural gas. Distribution companies follow up on these technological developments to provide you with the best possible services.


Natural gas piping systems are installed in buildings in two steps:

1-   Natural gas building line; includes piping from the point of delivery, that is the curb box, through building interiors, and terminates in meters.

2-   Natural gas branch line; leads from individual apartment valves through meters, and covers the pipelines reaching the appliances within apartments.

Therefore; safety measures are also divided in two phases: building safety and apartment safety.


Building Safety

Safety measures in building lines that deliver natural gas to apartments are of particular importance as they constantly carry gas flow. Precautions against natural gas poisoning and explosion should be in place.


Installation of natural gas detectors within buildings (in stairwells)

Gas detectors within buildings will ring a warning alarm when they detect any gas leaks in the building, and will trigger the solenoid valves, placed at the building delivery point, to shut off gas flow to secure the building.


Installation of earthquake sensors in buildings (in stairwells)

The sensors in buildings when they detect any seismic activities, will ring an alarm, and trigger the solenoid valves, placed at the building delivery point, to shut off gas flow to secure the building.


Installation of solenoid valves at building delivery points

Solenoid valves are control systems that will shut off gas flow into buildings when electromechanically triggered by monitoring systems including natural gas detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, or earthquake sensors.


Precautions in automatic stairwell lighting switches

When you smell natural gas leak in the stairwells, you should not switch on the stairwell lighting. If an unwitting person turns on the lights in the lower floor without smelling the gas, it could create ignition and lead to an explosion. In cases of gas leaks in the buildings, automatic stairwell lighting switches should be disabled automatically by the gas detector.

If the lighting system is operated with a motion sensor, then fuse switches should be located at building entrances as an additional precaution, and the power to stairwell lighting should be manually cut off in case of emergencies.


Apartment Safety

We suggest opting for a hermetic device when choosing a heating appliance for your apartment. Hermetic combi boilers and hermetic natural gas stoves are the most preferred hermetic heaters.

Chimney appliances are highly dangerous if necessary precautions are not in place. Find out whether your chimney appliance (combi boiler or stove) includes a chimney safety sensor, and do not approach your device if it does not have a safety sensor. In such a case, either immediately have a chimney safety sensor installed, or better yet, replace your device with a hermetic type.

Natural gas is always a threat to its surroundings. Reported cases demonstrate a variety of causes leading to accidents. However, installing natural gas and carbon monoxide detectors connected to solenoid valves located at building entrances, and thus automatically shutting off gas flow into the building in case of carbon monoxide or natural gas leaks shall prevent losses of life and property. Majority of natural gas accidents are caused by the lack of such precautions. For instance, food spills during cooking, puts off stove flames, and causes gas compression in the kitchen. The homeowner notices the odour of gas, heads to the kitchen, turns on the lights, and ignites a natural gas explosion. As natural gas is lighter than air, it is compressed below the ceiling. A natural gas detector or a solenoid valve, in such an instance, would trigger an alarm, cut off gas flow into the apartment, and just so prevent an explosion.

Carbon monoxide poisonings are another common natural gas accidents that occur when chimneys are not sufficiently ventilated, not sufficiently secured, or malfunctioning. Carbon monoxide then leaks from the pipes into the environment, and leads to poisoning cases. Solenoid valves, connected to a carbon monoxide detector, note the gas leak, and cut off gas flow into the apartment to disable any appliances running on gas in order to restrict further carbon monoxide leak.

All consumers should have their natural gas pipelines, equipment, and appliances including stoves and boilers serviced by professionals at least once a year. Consumers should keep chimneys clean, and should not block or cover air vents that ventilate the apartment.