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What is the smell of Gas?

You can’t see it – you can’t taste it. But thanks to Mercaptan, you can smell it.

We are of course talking about natural gas.

Also known as methanethiol, it is a harmless yet fairly smelly gas which is added to natural gas as a safety measure to make it easier for us to detect it.
Described as the stench of rotting cabbage, it is an organic substance that is actually fairly common in humans and is one of the main chemicals responsible for peoples bad breath.

the smell of a gas leak

Why is mercaptan added to natural gas?

It is added purely as a safety measure. While gas leaks are rare, if one does occur, the ability to smell it quickly can save your life.
Mercaptan is the ideal addition to natural gas because it can be easily detected in extremely small quantities (less than one part per million) and like the natural gas it is added to, is flammable.

So now you know. If you smell gas, take it seriously. Don’t use electrical devices near to the source of the smell. Don’t turn lights on or off. Don’t light a cigarette or match.

Leave the house and phone the National Gas Emergencies number immediately.

Call 0800 111 999

Follow the advise given on the phone by the emergency adviser and wait for a gas engineer to arrive.

If you have noticed any of the following symptoms:

  • Lightheaded
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

then visit your GP or nearest hospital and inform them that you have been exposed to a gas leak and potential carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you would like to know more about advise on what to do in a Gas Leak Emergency, call us today and we can give you some advise on the best actions to take.

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