Health tip: Get a natural gas detector

Natural gas, used in many homes for cooking and heating, has no odor. So utilities add a sulfur-based compound to produce the familiar “rotten-eggs” smell that most people can pick up easily.

If you have a diminished sense of smell or can’t detect the odor added to natural gas, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says you should opt for a natural gas detector.

The agency suggests looking for these features:

Make sure the device is able to distinguish humidity and cigarette smoke, which shouldn’t trigger the alarm.
Choose an alarm with a Lower Explosive Limit, which will sound an alarm when gas meets the lowest level that may cause an explosion.
Install the detector in an area where you can hear the alarm and where gas is likely to collect, such as in a basement.
Test and maintain the gas detector regularly.