Propane is a non-toxic but odorless and colorless gas. This means that people who inhale propane do not get sick. However, propane is a highly flammable gas and propane leaks should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, a chemical has been added to it so that propane users can easily detect the presence of propane in their home. Propane then smells a little like rotten eggs, which is a smell people are familiar with.
There is a possibility that if you smell gas it is only an appliance light that has gone out or a slightly open burner valve. Although it is not recommended that you tamper with pilot lights or burner valves yourself, a qualified service technician should be able to fix the problem without having to shut off gas supply.
Smelling or hearing gas – dos and don’ts
If you smell or hear the sound of propane gas:
- LEAVE the house/building immediately and ensure all other occupants do the same.
- SHUT OFF the propane tank service valve to stop gas supply.
- PUT OUT all open flames and sparks.
- DO NOT
- light candles,
- switch lights on/off,
- use a telephone inside,
- use electrical equipment,
- use the bell,
- use an elevator,
- adjust thermostats, or
- adjust appliance controls.
- CALL your propane company as soon as you are at a safe distance from the house/building.
Relying on your propane company
Wait for your propane company to send a qualified service technician. Do not turn the gas back: this may increase the safety risk. Your propane company’s emergency service technician will perform a leak test, make any repairs that are necessary and turn the gas back on in accordance with local regulations.
Propane company emergency line
This shows how important it is to select a propane company that is not too far from your home so it can react quickly should you suspect a propane leak. Similarly, it shows how crucial it is to have a propane company with a 24/7/365 emergency telephone line that you can call at any time – you do not want to smell gas and not be able to reach your propane company because it is nighttime or the weekend.
Company employee safety training and consumer information programs
Knowing how to react properly when you smell or hear gas can prevent injuries and even death when it comes to propane. Therefore, it is crucial to select a propane company that adheres to the highest possible standards in terms of training its employees regarding emergency safety procedures and informing consumers of the basic steps they need to take should they suspect a gas leak.