Can GC/MS analysis detect a natural gas leak in my home?
This is a question we’ve had submitted by a few folks who have come across our website and analytical testing services.
The answer? Technically yes, but practically no.
GC/MS analysis (gas chromatography mass spectrometry) has a wide variety of applications—from tracking organic pollutants in the environment to criminal forensics to food, beverage and perfume analysis. And while a mobile system could likely detect the presence of natural gas in a home, you probably don’t have access to such a tool.
Even more importantly, if you suspect there is a gas leak in your home, your safest course of action is to evacuate immediately and go to a safe location, and then call your gas company and 911.
What to Do If You Suspect a Natural Gas Leak
While it may be tempting to try to locate the source of the leak, as mentioned above, it’s important that you leave the area and call for help. In addition, do not do anything that could cause a spark and ignite the gas, including:
- Turning on electrical devices such as light switches, telephones, or garage door openers
- Using open flames, matches or lighters
- Starting a vehicle that’s parked in the area
Signs of a Natural Gas Leak
One of the most noticeable signs may be the “rotten egg” smell we’re all likely familiar with. But, sometimes you may smell nothing. Other signs include:
- Dead or discolored vegetation in otherwise green areas
- Dirt or dust blowing from a hole in the ground
- Bubbling in wet or flooded areas
- Blowing or hissing sound
- Presence of flames if something’s been ignited
Another option to consider is investing in an explosive gas and carbon monoxide alarm. These combination detectors are a great way to detect both carbon monoxide and natural gas, giving you peace of mind.
If you’re looking for more information on GC/MS applications, get in touch with Innovatech Labs today.