Do you know how to prevent a gas leak? Good for you if you answered yes!

The reason I ask is fairly simple...early this week a home in the Pinehurst neighborhood of Seattle exploded (and, no, I'm not exaggerating) because of a natural gas leak. Investigators are fairly certain that the couple living in the home smelled the natural gas before they went to sleep and decided not to report it. Luckily they survived with injuries, but their home wasn't so lucky. Now Puget Sound Energy and local utility companies are canvassing the area looking for leaks..and 4 have appeared in a 5-mile radius since Monday's explosion.

Which brings me to my first question: do you know what you can do to prevent a gas leak? And if you suspect a leak, do you know what to do? I'll go over a few safety tips for those of us with natural gas, and then explain how to detect a leak and what to do if you do find one.

Natural Gas Safety Tips:

-Check furnace filters monthly and change them as needed. The goal is to keep your heating and cooling appliance operating safely and efficiently.

-Have your furnace inspected yearly to make sure it's operating properly.

-If your pilot light goes out and you aren't sure about how to relight it, call Puget Sound Energy at 1-88-225-5773.

-Keep your gas meter clear of debris, landscaping, shrubs or even icicles.

-Don't keep combustible materials or liquids near furnace or water heater vents or pipes.

-Maintain your natural gas pipes.

How to Detect a Leak:

- SMELL: Natural gas is odorless...until a gas company adds a rotten-egg smell to it. If you smell rotten eggs that could indicate a leak.

- LOOK: If you see dirt blowing or bubbles rising in a puddle, that could be a good reason for concern.

-LISTEN: Hear a hissing sound near a pipe? That could be the gas forcing it's way out in the open.

If you notice ANY signs of a natural gas leak, call Puget Sound Energy or 911 RIGHT AWAY!

While most of these tips are fairly common sense, it's always a good idea to know what to do in case of a natural gas emergency.