Natural Gas Appliance Safety
To ensure safety and efficiency, have your furnace, water heater and other natural gas appliances inspected by a licensed technician once a year. Also, do not store flammable liquids, paint or other flammable materials near a furnace, stove or water heater. Keep the lint trap on your gas dryer clean and the exhaust hose clear. And never try to heat your home with a gas oven or stove.
Gas connectors are corrugated metal tubes used to connect gas appliances in your home to natural gas supply pipes. Some older uncoated brass connectors may have a serious flaw in the end pieces and, over time, can separate from the tubing and cause a serious gas leak, explosion or fire.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, these uncoated connectors have not been made for 20 years, but many are still in use. Although not all uncoated connectors have this flaw, it is very difficult to tell which ones do.
Therefore, any uncoated brass connector should be replaced immediately with a new plastic-coated brass or stainless steel connector. Connectors can wear out from too much moving, bending or corrosion and should be replaced whenever the appliance is moved or relocated.
Warning: Only a qualified professional plumber, HVAC or appliance repair contractor should inspect and, if needed, replace your connector. Moving the appliance, even slightly, can cause the complete failure of one of these older, weakened connectors and possibly result in a deadly fire or explosion.
Many older gas appliances have a small, continuously burning gas flame, the pilot light that ignites the main burner. Newer models have electric igniters.
- Know which, if any, of your appliances have a pilot light.
- Keep the manufacturer's relighting instructions within easy reach or call a heating-equipment professional if you are not sure how to relight the pilot light.
Hot Water Safety
Natural gas water heaters are a fast, efficient way to heat the water in your home. But with any water heater, parents should exercise caution when using hot water around small children, especially in the bath tub.