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Holidays & Emergencies

Gas Leak: When in Doubt, Get Out

Something’s burning? Leakkkkk? Gas smell?
Good Housekeeping is essentially about safe housekeeping. Your kitchen is your domain and you have the onus of keeping it safe and secure from gas leaks and electrical threats. So, get these rules straight.

• Look for the nationally recognised testing organisation’s label on gas appliances.
• Never use the kitchen range as a space heater. This can damage the range and produce dangerous carbon monoxide gas.
• Rinse and dry burners before reinstalling. If your gas range burners don't light, see if the pilot lights are burning. If they're not, turn all burners to "off" and apply a match to each pilot light.
• Be careful not to damage or change settings on air shutters or sleeves.
• Never try to locate a leak yourself - it could be fatal.

Natural Gas Safety Rules

(A) To prevent accidents

• Follow manufacturer's instructions with all appliances.
• Have your appliances installed, serviced and repaired by professionals.
• Keep chimney flues and vents for appliances clean and in good condition.
• Keep areas around your gas water heater and furnace clean and free of flammables.
• Teach family members what to do if they smell gas. Everybody should know where the shut-off valve is at the meter. This valve should be closed only in the event of a gas emergency in your home.
• Teach small children to stay away from the gas range and all gas-burning appliances. Don't let children swing from or play with pipes leading to water heaters or ranges.
• Take your family on a guided tour of your home's gas-burning appliances.

(B) In case of emergency
• If you smell a faint odour of gas, look for a pilot light that’s out. If you see one, turn the appliance off and open the window-top and bottom- to let gas escape. If the odour is strong and persists, get everyone out of the house immediately.
• If you smell gas and can't find the source immediately, go to a neighbour’s house and call the Gas Company.
• Don't touch any electrical appliances or use a flashlight or telephone, because an electric spark could ignite the gas and cause an explosion.
• If you find someone collapsed, take him/her out of the room and check whether he/she is breathing. If not, give artificial respiration such as mouth-to-mouth respiration, which will help to clear the patient's airway. If the patient is unconscious but still breathing then roll him on to his side and call an ambulance for help.

DID YOU KNOW: Burning natural gas without enough air produces carbon monoxide, a deadly poison! Natural gas is colourless, odourless and harmful to breathe because it contains no oxygen. A chemical is added to give the gas a distinctive, pungent odour so that you can smell a leak immediately.



Summer time is vacation time. Just make sure your holidaying doesn’t result in your plants drying up. Here’s what you can do to keep your houseplants healthy and green.

• A week or so before your trip, monitor room temperature with a thermometer placed on the floor. Check frequently to determine fluctuations of temperature. Ideally temperature should be between low-to-mid 40s during the day, falling into the upper 30s at night. At this range, your plants will survive without extra care for a few weeks.
• Water all plants the day before you leave, whether they need it or not. Let the pots drain fully.
• Cover the floor of the room with newspapers and plastic and place all your plants together in the room.
• Open curtains, drapes or blinds to allow optimum light to enter the room. Make sure plants aren't in drafts.
• You can also use self-watering wicks available in most plant stores for watering.
• If you don't have a room for the plants, try leaving them in the tub. After soaking them good, cover them with a sheet of plastic and they'll survive for 2 weeks or longer.
• Keep the vents open in the bathroom so the room will remain cool and the heat won't dry the plants out.


One has to remember quite a lot of things before leaving out for vacationing.
• Cancel the papers and milk
• If you are keeping your key at your neighbours’ house, ask them to water your plants.
• De-frost and clean out your refrigerator if you are going out for a long vacation.
• Find out the weather conditions of the place you are going to and pack in accordance.
• Check your kitchen as many times as possible, especially the gas supply. Turn it off and give a second look.
• Carry your travel guide and list of recommended restaurants and sights.
• Don’t leave without your tickets.
• Carry water.
• Shut and bolt all windows and doors.
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