Here are some tips to check your hot water tank to help save you from a water catastrophe in your basement.
Check your temperature-pressure relief valves.
Inspect the pipe connections to your water heater for any leaks.
Make sure the drain valve on a gas water heater is tight.
Check under the tank for any small leaks made by corrosion.
Inspect bottom of tank by looking through combustion chamber. If water marks or heavy rusting is noticed or if water is noticed setting in combustion chamber bottom, then the water heater needs to be replaced.