Safety Brochures:

Propane

Safety Links


PERC and the propane industry together developed this suite of 16 electronic modules on consumer propane safety.

Each of the modules is devoted to a single subject and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. This is important information that you can share with your family whenever and as often as you want.

Other Safety Links:
Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Propane is a very safe fuel. But as with any energy source, there are steps you should take to further ensure your safety. The following is information you can use to learn more about propane.


How To Recognize The Smell Of Propane


Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. Propane manufacturers add the smell deliberately to help alert customers to propane leaks, which can create a safety hazard.

Can you smell it?


It may be hard for some people to smell propane for the following reasons:


  • They have a cold, allergies, sinus congestion, or another medical condition.
  • Their sense of smell is reduced due to use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.
  • Tobacco smoke, cooking odors, and other strong odors can mask the smell of propane.
  • As people age, their sense of smell can become less sensitive.

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  • If the smell of propane is present in the air over a period of time, “odor fatigue” can occur. The nose “gets tired,” and a person no longer smells the propane odor.
  • The propane smell may not be strong enough to wake up someone who is sleeping.
  • The propane smell may be in a location (basement or attic) where it is not detected by people in other areas of the building.
  • A phenomenon called “odor loss” can occur—an unintended reduction in the concentration of the odor of propane.


What is odor loss?


Odor loss also can diminish propane's smell.

On rare occasions, propane can lose its odor. Several things can cause this including:


  • Air, water, or rust in a propane tank or cylinder can reduce propane odor concentration.
  • If the propane is leaking underground, its passage through soil may reduce the smell of propane.
  • The propane odor may stick to the inside surfaces of gas piping and distribution systems and possibly other materials.


Since there is a possibility of odor loss or problems with your sense of smell, you should respond immediately to even a faint odor of gas.

If you are concerned that you or others in your home may have difficulty smelling propane, consider buying one or more propane gas detectors.


If you smell gas.....


If you smell gas inside or outside of your home:

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 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 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.


Running out of Gas


  • If your tank runs out of gas:
  • Shut off the service valve on your tank.
  • Shut off all appliance valves.
  • Call us immediately.