Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray or a dead animal. Propane manufacturers add this smell to help alert customers to propane leaks. (Note: If you have someone living in your household with a diminished sense of smell, such as an elderly relative, etc., consider purchasing a propane gas detector as an additional measure of security.)
If you ever smell propane in your home, do this:
No flames or sparks: immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames.
Leave the area immediately: Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
Shut off the gas: If possible, shut off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
Report the leak: Call us from a safe distance from your house. You should also call 911 to report the leak.
Stand back: Do not return to the house or area until we determine that it is safe to go back inside
Get your system checked: Before your system is put back into service, we will need to do a system check (leak test) to ensure that your system is in safe working order.
Other propane safety tips
When appliances operate properly, propane burns with a blue flame. If you see yellow flames — or notice significant amounts of soot on any equipment — the gas may not be burning completely. This can create carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless and toxic gas. Arrange for service if you notice a yellow flame or soot on your appliances.
Regularly check the vents of your appliances to make sure combustion gases flow unobstructed to the outdoors. Sometimes insects, birds and small animals build nests in vent pipes. Snow and ice can also cause obstructions.
If you need to move an appliance, be careful not to damage the gas connector. Older connectors can easily crack if twisted, which can lead to a gas leak.
Want more propane safety tips? The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has created the informative videos below to tell you all about propane safety!
For more information about propane safety, please contact us or call our office.