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How to Detect Gas Leaks

Learning how to detect a gas leak could be very important knowledge that prevents an accident from occurring in your household or business premises. In this blog, we’re going to talk about different types of gas leaks and how to recognise them, as well as what to do if you find one in your home.

Liquid Nitrogen Leak

Liquid nitrogen gas leaks can be deadly; being odourless and invisible, it is easily missed. Luckily, liquid nitrogen is not combustible, so you aren’t going to need to worry about a sudden explosion occurring as a result of a liquid nitrogen leak; however, it is an asphyxiant.

Trying to breathe in an environment flooded with liquid nitrogen will effectively strangle an individual. A surplus of nitrogen in the air displaces the amount of oxygen available to the individual and breathing in this substance in large amounts can cause dizziness, confusion, lack of consciousness, and even death. Fatality can occur in seconds.

Liquid nitrogen is typically stored in a cryogenic container with a temperature and pressure control system. In order to prevent a leak, it is vital that your controls are functioning properly and undergo regular checks. The best place to store your gas is always outside, as any leaks will disperse into the atmosphere where they aren’t going to cause harm to nearby people.

If you MUST store this gas indoors, the recommended minimum ventilation for the room in which it is stored is six air changes per hour ( If you suspect that your nitrogen has already leaked into a room without adequate ventilation, the best course of action is to call a higher authority.

Here are some of the steps that a professional might take to identify your leak:

  • Leak Detection Spray

This works by spraying the solution from a distance. If bubbles occur on the gas canister, a leak is present.

  • Electronic Leak Detector

An electronic leak detector must be checked once a year, but best practice states that it should be checked within a day following each use.

If you’re worried about gas leaks occurring in your storage area, you could also think about purchasing an oxygen detection alarm which can inform you if the breathable oxygen available in the area drops below a sustainable percentage. Such alarms can help to save lives against leaks of undetectable gases.

Gas Leak Dry Ice

Argon Gas Leak

Much like nitrogen, argon is a colourless and odourless gas that regularly defies detection but can cause a significant amount of harm if it leaks undetected. Like nitrogen, argon gas leaks can cause asphyxiation by displacing the percentage of oxygen available for humans to breath.

To prevent an argon gas leak from occurring, it is important that you regularly check your gas canister’s regulators to ensure that there are no malfunctions. You might suspect a leak if you hear a hissing noise emanating from one of your containers. To avoid hazard to human life, it is also best if you store your gas outside where any leaks can quickly disperse into the atmosphere. If this isn’t possible, your storage room must have adequate ventilation to sustain human life in the event of a leak.

If you are concerned about the possibility of a leak occurring and harming a friend, family-member or co-worker, you may also consider installing an oxygen alarm in your storage room. These alarms work by monitoring the amount of oxygen present in the air, and ringing if the oxygen falls below acceptable percentages, giving you the opportunity to call a higher authority to ventilate your property safely.

When you take the proper precautions with your argon gas bottles storage system, you should not have undue cause to worry.

Propane Gas Leak

Unlike nitrogen, propane is highly flammable so a propane gas leak that isn’t quickly ventilated could pose a risk of explosion. Unlike nitrogen, however, propane has a distinct smell of rotten eggs and thus is difficult to miss. If you suspect that you have a propane leak in your premises, it is vital that you don’t start any electrical equipment that might spark and catch light, and especially avoid naked flames.

You may also be able to detect a gas leak using your sense of hearing. If you hear a hissing noise emanating from a fitting using propane, it may be that there is a leak. It is best to get away from the leak as quickly as possible and call an authority if you suspect one. Do not use a telephone near the leak, as the sparks within the phone could ignite it.

If you are worried about the event of a propane gas leak, you can take extra precautions against them by buying an electronic propane gas detector, and by checking the functionality of the gas’ fittings and regulators often. You can also seek to store the gas outside or in a well-ventilated area.

We sell propane gas as well as propane gas bottle regulators. If you have any questions about our equipment, products or services, we are happy to speak to you about how our services can help you.

Butane Gas Leak

Like propane, butane is heavier than air and will sink. This means that if you’re storing butane gas at home, the youngest members of your family and pets are at the most risk from breathing in a butane gas leak.

Like all gas, butane is very safe if the right storage precautions are taken. You should try to store your gas outside where possible or provide adequate ventilation that meets lawful regulations if not. If you’re worried about a butane gas leak and want to take extra precautions then you can buy oxygen alarms, butane detectors, and to some extent rely on your own senses.

Butane should smell of rotten eggs because, like propane, most merchants mix butane with a bad-smelling substance that will indicate a leak to the owners without affecting the quality of the gas when it is applied as a fuel.

As a supplier of gas and gas-related equipment, we know a lot about keeping gas safe. If you have any concerns about how you’re storing your gas currently, you can get in touch with us for some advice. Alternatively, if you’re looking to purchase any of our products, you can browse our online store or visit us in Kent.