Puddles of water around your hot water heater maybe due to a leaking pipe. Though hot water heaters do have release or pressure valves that sometimes drain off water from the tank, it always is a good idea to check the around the pipes for leaks. It probably will not take you long to pinpoint a problem if there is a leaking pipe, just be sure to cut the power to the heater before you begin.
Repeat the step above for the hot water pipe located to the left of the cold water pipe. If you tighten both pipes and either one is still leaking, you will have to replace it.
Shut off the water supply to the entire house. Open several faucets to drain the water lines in the house.
Shut the valve to water heater faucet. Remove the garden hose. Shut off the open water faucets inside the house. Turn on the water supply to the house. Turn the gas back on to the water heater. Flip the circuit breaker to the water heater back to the "on" position.