We hope you know that propane is one of the safest fuels you can choose for your home. Still, to keep everyone as safe as possible, it’s very important that you pay close attention to the operation of your gas appliances. Your best approach for keeping propane equipment running well is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for preventive maintenance. You can consult your owner’s manuals for details about what’s required.
While propane is odorless, manufacturers incorporate an odor into it to alert homeowners in case of a gas leak. You may find this smell to be similar to that of rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray or even a dead animal.
It’s important to confirm that everyone in the home is able to recognize the smell. In the event that you or others in your home may have trouble smelling propane, make plans to install one or more propane gas detectors.
This is what to do if you smell gas in your home
If you smell propane gas in your home or business, please follow these steps:
- DO make an attempt to turn off the valves at the tank, but only if it is safe to do so.
- DO make sure everyone leaves the home and gets away from the area.
- DO place a call to your propane supplier as well as to the fire department. Make these calls with a phone that is away from the home or business.
- DO NOT light matches anywhere inside or near the home.
- NO NOT use light switches inside the home.
- DO NOT look for the leak.
- DO NOT attempt to relight your pilot light or repair your appliance.
- NO NOT make any calls from inside your home or from any nearby areas.
- DO NOT come back to the area until responders have let you know that it safe to do so.
Prevent carbon monoxide problems
A gas appliance that is operating properly burns propane with a blue flame. Yellow flames—or significant amounts of soot on any equipment—are indicators that the gas may not be burning completely, which can create carbon monoxide. Contact your propane company for service if you notice a yellow flame or soot on your appliances.
Make it part of your regular routine to check the outdoor vents of your appliances. You want to make sure combustion gases flow unobstructed to the outdoors. Small animals, insects and birds may set up camp in vent pipes, and this is something you want to avoid. You can prevent damage by using a broom or a soft brush to gently remove any obstructions present in your vents.
Read more about propane safety here. Please feel free to call your friends at W.H. Riley & Son if you have any questions about your propane equipment.