Recently, a rescue cat named Lilly managed to save her family with her nose. For those who are curious, she stopped by the fireplace before sniffing, which was strange enough that it convinced her owners to take a sniff as well. This was wise because it turned out that there was a gas leak. Something that prompted the family to call the gas company for assistance. Apparently, it was a particularly dangerous gas leak, meaning that Lilly’s nose prevented a potential disaster.
Do Cats Have a Good Sense of Smell?
Some people might be curious about a cat’s sense of smell. If so, they should know that it is very good, not least because a cat’s nose has close to 40 times the number of odor-sensitive cells in a human’s nose. Furthermore, it is important to note that this is not a matter of trade-offs like the comparison between cat vision and human vision. In that regard, cats might have better night vision, but they lose out when it comes to range as well as colors. Meanwhile, a cat’s sense of smell is just straight-up better than a human’s sense of smell. As such, cats are very reliant on their sense of smell. For example, they use it to pick up on the presence of prey, which is critical because cats need to eat once or twice every single day. Likewise, they use it to figure out where other cats have established their territories, thus enabling them to better navigate their environment. On top of that, cats have their appetite stimulated by their sense of smell rather than their sense of taste, which is rather weak.
How Dangerous Is a Gas Leak?
People tend to associate natural gas with the smell of rotten eggs. However, natural gas doesn’t actually smell like that. Instead, natural gas companies add the smell of rotten eggs to the odorless, colorless substance to make it very easy for their customers to tell when it is out and about. Based on this, it should be clear that a gas leak should be considered quite dangerous. Generally speaking, people use natural gas because it is very combustible. Thanks to this, a gas leak can result in fire as well as explosions when the natural gas comes into contact with something that can set it off. This is the reason that people are sometimes recommended to head outside without stopping when they detect the signs of a gas leak. Besides this, there are a couple of other potential concerns as well. One, high concentrations of natural gas can cause asphyxia, which will start out with fatigue and chest pains but culminate in death if affected individuals don’t leave the scene. Two, it is possible for poor installation and other issues to cause natural gas to fail to burn up 100 percent, thus resulting in the release of carbon monoxide as a byproduct. That is another substance that people shouldn’t breathe in, which is made worse by the fact that it is both odorless and colorless as well.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Gas Leaks?
Lilly saved her family. However, it is best for interested individuals to have other measures in place to protect themselves:
- Proper Installation – For example, one of the most common causes of gas leaks would be the improper installation of appliances. Due to this, interested individuals should always have this kind of work done by someone with the proper certification. That won’t guarantee that everything will go smoothly. However, expertise and experience make a real difference in this kind of thing, meaning that this will provide interested individuals with the best chance of seeing everything go smoothly.
- Regular Inspections – On a related note, it can be a good idea to have a professional look over the relevant parts of the home from time to time. Simply put, everything experiences wear and tear, which can build and build until problems come up. Regular inspections are the best way to have these problems picked up for correction ahead of time, thus preventing their potential – consequences. As an additional benefit, earlier intervention tends to make for lower costs in the long run as well.
- Gas Detectors – There are gas detectors that can be purchased from a wide range of stores, meaning that interested individuals should have no problem finding a suitable location. Of course, they should make sure that their gas detectors have the batteries that they need to function properly.
- Telltale Signs – Interested individuals should also learn the telltale signs of a gas leak so that they can take the appropriate course of action as needed. The smell of rotten eggs is the most obvious one. However, if people start feeling either nauseous, lightheaded, or sick in some other manner, that could be an indication that they are breathing in something that they shouldn’t be, meaning that they should head outside to see if it clears up in the fresh air. Curiously, an orange or yellow flame could be a warning sign because a blue flame means that it is getting plenty of oxygen. Similarly, other signs range from a musty smell to excessive condensation on the windows and soot on the exterior of appliances.
- Take Action – Every source agrees on the need for immediate action. Gas leaks are not something that interested individuals can procrastinate on because they present a very real and very immediate threat to their wellbeing. However, the sources can differ on the best course of action. Sometimes, they say that people should stop everything that they are doing before leaving their home right away because of the potential for one of their actions to set off the natural gas. Other times, they say that people should stop the gas supply before opening the doors and windows for better ventilation. Whatever the case, the sources do agree that people should avoid electrical switches as well as anything that could set off the gas. Furthermore, they need to call in the professionals because gas leaks aren’t something that they should try to fix on their own.