If you smell gas:
- No flames or sparks! No flames or sparks! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.
- Leave the area immediately! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
- Shut off the gas. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
- Report the leak. From a neighbor's home or other nearby building away from the gas leak, call your propane retailer right away. If you can't reach your propane retailer, call 911 or your local fire department.
- Do not return to the building or area until your propane retailer, emergency responder, or qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.
- Get your system checked. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.
What does propane smell like?
Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk's spray, or a dead animal. Some people may have difficulty smelling propane due to their age (older people may have less sensitive sense of smell); a medical condition, or the effects of medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
On rare occasions, propane can lose its odor. Several things can cause this including:
- The presence of air, water or rust in a propane tank or cylinder
- The passage of leaking propane through the soil
Since there is a possibility of odor loss or problem with your sense of smell, you should respond immediately to even a faint odor of gas.
Propane Gas Detectors
Under some circumstances, you may not smell a propane leak. Propane gas detectors sound an alarm if they sense propane in the air. They can provide an additional measure of security. You should consider the purchase of one or more detectors for your home.
Guidelines regarding propane gas detectors:
- Buy only units that are listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding installation and maintenance.
- Never ignore the smell of propane, even if no detector is sounding an alarm.
Carbon Monoxide and your safety
WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE (CO)?
You can’t taste or smell CO, but it is a very dangerous gas, produced when any fuel burns. High levels of CO can come from appliances that are not operating correctly, or from a venting system or chimney that becomes blocked.
(CO) CAN BE DEADLY!
High levels of CO can make you dizzy or sick (see below). In extreme cases CO can cause brain damage or death. Symptoms of CO Poisoning Include:
- Shortness of Breath
IF YOU SUSPECT (CO) IS PRESENT, ACT IMMEDIATELY!
- If you or a family member shows physical symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the building and call 911 or your local fire department.
- If it is safe to do so, open windows to allow entry of fresh air, and turn off any appliances you suspect may be releasing CO.
- If no one has symptoms but you suspect that CO is present, call your propane retailer or a qualified service technician to check CO levels and your propane equipment.
TO HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF (CO) POISONING:
- Have a qualified service technician check your propane appliances and related venting systems annually, preferably before the heating season begins.
- Install UL-listed CO detectors on every level of your home.
- Never use portable heaters indoors unless they are designed and approved for indoor use.
- Never use a barbecue grill (propane or charcoal) indoors for cooking or heating.
- Regularly check your appliances exhaust vents for blockage.
RUNNING OUT OF GAS
Don’t run out of gas, serious safety hazards, including fire or explosion, can result.
- If an appliance valve or a gas line is left open, a leak could occur when the system is recharged with propane.
- If your propane tank runs out of gas, any pilot lights on your appliances will go out. This can be extremely dangerous.
A LEAK CHECK IS REQUIRED
In many states, a propane retailer or qualified service technician must perform a leak check of your propane system before turning on the gas.
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