Many homes use natural gas or propane for heating, cooking and hot water.
Gas appliances that work well have a clear, steady blue flame. The flame may occasionally have some yellow and orange, too.
If natural gas or propane leaks, it can cause fires, explosions and serious health problems.
Gas poisoning can make people dizzy or tired, give them headaches or make it difficult to breathe.
A "rotten egg" odor is added to natural gas and propane to make gas leaks obvious, but not everyone can smell it easily.
Safe practices with natural gas and propane include:
Having all gas appliances, furnaces, vents, flues, chimneys and gas lines installed and inspected by a qualified professional
Keeping the space around gas appliances open and vents clean to have good air flow
Keeping the space around furnaces and water heaters clean and clear
Turning off gas fireplaces and space heaters before going to bed or leaving home
Never using a gas oven or range top to heat the home
Installing propane gas detectors, which sound an alarm if there is a propane leak
Authorities suggest leaving the building immediately, if there is a suspected gas leak. The gas company, propane provider or fire department can be contacted from another, safer location.