The smell of gas within your property can be alarming and should be treated seriously. There are several important things that you need to do if you smell gas; this guide will take you through the process, keeping you safe and sound should a situation arise.
If you can already smell gas and/or think there could be a leak, you should immediately phone the National Gas Emergency Service number on 0800 111 999* at any time of the day or night.
Knowing how to react to a gas emergency could save your property and, more importantly, the lives of those within it. Here are some tips to help you if you smell gas either inside or outside your property.
What should I do if I smell gas?
If you smell gas inside a property, there are several steps that you should take. Calling the National Gas Emergency Service number on 0800 111 999* will notify us of the problem, and we can give you some advice on what to do next. Before that, taking the following action will help keep you and the property safe:
- DO open doors and windows to ventilate the property.
- DO turn off the gas at the mains tap. This can usually be located near the gas meter and has a handle that can be turned 90 degrees. If the gas leak is in a cellar or basement, do not enter and instead evacuate the building.
If you suspect you have a gas leak or you smell gas, it is important that you don’t do any of the following as these could place you in further danger:
- DON’T turn any power or light switches on or off.
- DON’T light any sort of flame within the property.
- DON’T use any appliances that could cause a spark.
Sometimes a gas leak can lead to you feeling physical symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, nausea and headaches. These symptoms should ease when you leave the property, however we’d advise that you visit your GP as a precaution if you’ve been exposed to a gas leak.
If you find yourself with these symptoms but can’t smell any gas, it could be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak. Read our carbon monoxide guide to find out more.
What if I smell gas outside my house?
If you smell gas outside your home, you should call the National Gas Emergency Service number as soon as possible. Refrain from lighting any naked flames in the area and wait for an emergency gas engineer to attend and investigate the problem.
Who to phone if you smell gas
Calling the National Gas Emergency Service number is an important step when you suspect a gas leak. The number operates 24/7 and is free to call.
The helpline will advise you what steps to take next. They will also send out an emergency gas engineer from your local distribution network who will ensure steps are taken to make the situation safe. The engineer will require entry to the property in order to make it safe for you. All of engineers carry ID on them.
They may also advise that extra work needs to be done on appliances such as ovens, boilers and fires. You’ll require a Gas Safe Registered Engineer
to do this for you.
Always wait until the gas engineer has given you the all-clear before returning inside your property.
Remember it’s important call the National Gas Emergency Service number if you smell gas or suspect a gas leak as quickly as possible to avoid putting yourself in further danger. Once you’re safe, call the National Gas Emergency Service number on 0800 111 999*.
If you're a user of British Sign Language (BSL) you can call the National Gas Emergency number using the SignLive service. This service gives you access to an online interpreter enabling, you to communicate with us using sign language.
*All calls are recorded and may be monitored.
Watch our short video with 5 simple tips for you to remember if you smell gas
What to do if you smell gas (RAD gas emergency information with sign language)