Propane is a very safe fuel. But as with any energy source, there are steps you should take to further ensure your safety:
If you detect a gas leak, immediately evacuate everyone from the house and call your local propane provider or the fire department from a neighbor's telephone.
- Learn what propane smells like. Propane retailers have scratch-and-sniff pamphlets to help your family recognize its distinctive odor.
- Know where gas lines are located, so you won't damage them when digging or working in the yard.
- Change or clean furnace filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Don't store cleaning fluids, oil-soaked rags, gasoline, or other flammable liquids near a gas-burning appliance where vapors could be ignited by the pilot light.
What does propane smell like?
By nature, propane is clear and contains no scent at all. For safety purposes propane companies add a substance know as ethyl-mercaptan to the propane fuel. Ethyl-mercaptan has a strong rotten egg, or skunk-like scent, which allows the consumer to smell it in the case of a leak. If you smell something similar near your appliances and your tank it is possible that you are low in fuel. Ethyl-mercaptan is heavier than propane and sinks to the bottom of the tank so when the tank is low on fuel the ethyl-mercaptan smell will become more noticeable.
Download an informative PDF here.
For more information, please review the safety information provided by the Propane Education & Research Council or review the PDF entitled "Important Propane Safety Information for you and your family".