When your pilot light goes out in your home heater, you have a significant problem on your hands. If you can't relight it yourself, you won't be able to heat your home, and you could have a noticeable health hazard. Here's what you need to know about this situation in order to protect yourself and your family.
Address Gas Risk
The biggest problem with a pilot light turning off is that heaters emit gas fumes all the time. Typically, the pilot light consumes these fumes as they're passing through, but without the pilot light, the gas will continue to flow and can begin to fill your home. This is extraordinarily dangerous to you and your family. If you can smell gas, get out of your home immediately, making sure to bring all pets with you as well.
Turn It Off
Your next step should be to turn off the gas from the outside. You should have a gas shut-off valve for emergencies like these. Turn that off while you're outside, and make sure that you ventilate the house by opening some windows or doors. Continue to stay outside until the fumes dissipate, and call for help immediately.
There's no shame in calling a heating expert over an inability to light a pilot light. Whether you're just having a hard time with it or have a physical limitation, it's a problem that strikes people of all kinds.
When your heating expert comes, the first thing they'll do is ensure that your house isn't filled with gas fumes. They have special equipment that lets them test for gas, so they'll be able to give you the all-clear. If by chance you weren't able to turn off the shutoff valve for the gas, they'll do it for you so that the the house's fumes can be ventilated.
From there, they'll turn the gas back on and attempt to light the pilot. At this point, the problem is out of your hands; whether it's a simple matter of the pilot light being tricky or a bigger problem is preventing it from staying lit, you don't need to worry about it anymore. Your professional will take care of it for you.
Having a pilot light go out is dangerous. If you ever smell gas in your home, even if you don't know where it's coming from, evacuate immediately for safety's sake. Don't try to stay indoors with the windows open; you could get very sick, or in an extreme scenario, even die from exposure to gas.
For more information about heating services, including information about pilot lights, contact a local resource.