Important Propane Safety Information for You and Your Family

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Important Propane Safety Information For You and Your Family


When it comes to gas appliances, safety is a top priority. If you smell gas in your home, follow these steps:

1. NO FLAMES OR SPARKS. Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones.

2. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.

3. LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.

4. 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).

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

Can you smell it?

Propane smells like rotten eggs, s skunk’s spray or a dead animal. Some people may have difficulty smelling propane die to their age (older people may have a less sensitive sense of smell), a medical condition or the effects of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Safe Appliance Installation

Do-It-Yourselfers (DIY) put themselves and their families at risk when they attempt to install or repair gas appliances on their own. It is important that homeowners call their gas supplier before they attempt to do a gas-related project on their own. Gas suppliers can help a homeowner find a local qualified technician who knows how to do it right, and will ensure the safety of homeowners and their neighbors. Visit to learn more.

Safe Appliance Operation

A qualified service technician should perform an appliance inspection once a year. Only qualified service technicians have the proper training to install, service, maintain, and repair appliances.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

What is Carbon Monoxide?

You can’t smell or taste CO (Carbon Monoxide), 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. In extreme cases, Co can cause brain damage or death. Symptoms of CO poisoning are:

· Headache

· Dizziness

· Fatigue

· Shortness of breath

· Nausea

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.

The best way for homeowners to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is to have a qualified service technician check appliances and venting systems annually, preferably before the heating season begins. Chimneys, flues, and vents should be free of debris (leaves and animal nests) and snow and ice. Homeowners need to consider installing UL-listed CO monitors on every level of the house. A gas oven or range-top burners should not be used to provide space heating, portable heaters are never to be used indoors (unless they are designed and approved for indoor use), and the use of a barbecue grill (propane or charcoal) indoors for cooking or heating is never acceptable.

Signs of improper appliance operation that can generate high CO levels:

· Sooting, especially on appliances and vents

· Unfamiliar or burning odor

· Increased moisture inside of windows

What is propane?

Propane, also called LPG – Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or LP – is a liquid fuel stored under pressure. In most systems, propane is vaporized to a gas before it leaves the tank. Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources, including open flames, smoking materials, electric sparks and static electricity. Severe freeze burn or frostbite can result if propane liquid comes in contact with your skin.

Lighting Pilot Lights

If a pilot light repeatedly goes out, or is very difficult to light, there may be a safety problem. Do not try to fix the problem yourself. It is strongly recommended that only a qualified service technician light any pilot light that has gone out. You are taking the risk of starting a fire or an explosion if you light a pilot light yourself. Carefully follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings concerning the appliance before attempting to light the pilot.

Appliance Maintenance

· Leave it to the experts

· Help your appliance breathe, checking that the flue gases can easily flow outside

· Do not try to modify the appliance or repair it

· Have older appliances connectors inspected

Flammable Vapors are a Safety Hazard

The pilot light on your propane appliance can ignite vapors from gasoline, paint thinners and other flammable liquids. Be sure to store and use flammable liquids outdoors or in an area of the building containing no propane appliances.

Don’t Risk It!

If you cannot operate any part of your propane system, or if you think that an appliance or other device is not working properly, call your propane retailer or a qualified service technician for assistance

Don’t Run Out of Gas

Serious safety hazards, including fire or explosion can result.

· If an appliance valve or 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

· A service technician must perform a leak check of your propane system before turning on the gas. In some states it is required by law.