Propane Safety Guide & Information

Propane Is…

  • Propane is flammable and may cause fires and explosions.
  • Propane is heavier than air and can collect initially at low levels.
  • Always be sensitive to the slightest propane gas odor.   Any sort of a propane gas odor may signal a serious leak.
  • Investigate all foul odors.  What you think may be garbage, sewage or a dead mouse may be a serious propane gas leak.

No Odor Detected

Under some of the following conditions, you may not smell a gas leak… so we recommend you install a propane gas detector(s) in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Some people (especially the elderly) are unable to detect the smell of gas.
  • Colds, allergies, sinus congestion, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, may diminish your sense of smell.
  • Cooking odors or other strong odors can cover-up the smell of gas.
  • On rare occasions, propane gas may lose its distinctive odor – this is called “odor fade”.  Air, water, and rust in a propane tank or cylinder may weaken the gas odor, especially if the valves were left open after the container has been emptied.
  • Sometimes propane gas can lose its odor if a leak occurs underground.
  • Odorant in leaking gas can adsorb (stick) to building materials such as unpainted or untreated masonry and rough wall surfaces, to furniture fabrics and drapes, and to the inside walls of gas piping and static or periodically used propane storage containers and distribution systems.

If You Smell Propane Gas…
Follow These Emergency Steps!

If you smell propane gas in your house, camper, RV, workplace or around any gas equipment…
  1. Put out smoking materials and other open flames.
  2. Do not:
    – Operate electric switches
    – Light matches
    – Use your phone
    Any spark or flame in the area where propane gas is present may ignite the gas.  This could include the spark in a light switch, telephone, appliance motor, and even static electricity from walking around the room.
  3. Immediately get everyone out of the building, vehicle, RV trailer, or area.
  4. Close all gas tank or cylinder supply valves.
  5. Do not re-enter the building, vehicle, RV trailer, or area.   Use your neighbor’s phone and call a trained LP-Gas service person and the fire department.  Even though you may not continue to smell gas, do not turn on the gas again.
  6. Let the service person and firefighters check for propane gas leaks.  Have them air out the area before you return.
  7. Have properly trained LP-Gas service people repair the leak, then check and relight all of your propane gas appliances for you.

Important Safety Reminders

  • Don’t enter an area where you suspect a gas leak. If you are in such an area, leave immediately!
  • Be alert for propane odor when working in areas where propane is used.  Even a faint odor may indicate a hazardous situation.  If you suspect a gas leak, refer to #2 in the “If You Smell Propane Gas…” section.
  • Do not try to judge for yourself the level of danger of a gas leak by trying to determine if one smell of gas is weak or strong.  All gas leaks pose a serious risk.
  • Repeated pilot outages could indicate a hazardous condition.   Don’t attempt to relight the pilot, or service your equipment.  Call us at 336-591-4708
  • If you choose to light your own pilots, call us at 336-591-4708 for instructions.
  • Before lighting a propane gas appliance, sniff around the area at floor level.  If you smell gas, don’t light the appliance!
  • Shut off the gas immediately at the tank, if your appliance has been flooded. Do not use your gas system again until the wet or flooded equipment has been checked and serviced.
  • Improperly vented or defective appliances can cause potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.  Have your propane system and appliances periodically inspected by your Propane Dealer.
  • Don’t tamper with or use tools to operate controls.  If controls are difficult to operate by hand, call us at 336-591-4708 immediately.
  • Keep combustible products, like gasoline, kerosene or cleaners in a separate room from propane appliance.  Your appliance pilot lights could ignite fumes from these combustibles.
  • Don’t operate any propane gas appliance without reading the instructions carefully.

Some people wrongly believe that the smell of propane is a signal that their tank is nearly empty and should be refilled.  When a tank is low you may get a momentary whiff of gassy smell when stove top burners are ignited.  However, if the smell of gas lasts more than an instant, then the continuing gas odor means that you may have a serious propane gas leak.   Any persistent gassy smell is your signal to TAKE IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY ACTION.

For more detailed information, give us a call at 336-591-4708