Safety First: What to Do if You Smell Propane Gas

Pinching nose

If you have a home that is powered by propane gas, a keen nose and quick thinking can be the most important keys to keeping your family safe.

Your nose matters because propane manufacturers give the gas a rotten egg smell (propane is naturally odorless) to make it easy to detect a leak. When that telltale smell appears in your home, don’t panic – but do act quickly, observing the following precautions:

  • Avoid touching any equipment that could cause a spark (lights or light switches, appliances, telephones, cell phones, etc.); a spark can cause an explosion.
  • Get everyone out of your house immediately and call 911 from a safe distance away (don’t forget your pets!)
  • If it is safe to do so, turn off the propane gas at the main tank; if you don’t know how to do this, contact us – it’s important information for the adults in your home to know.
  • Go back in your home only after inspectors say it’s safe to do so. Don’t use your propane equipment again until it is inspected by a professional.
  • Remember: if your propane system is turned off for any reason – including a leak – it MUST (by law) be professionally inspected and pressure-tested before it can be turned on again.

Check out this page for other important propane safety tips.

Two other things to keep in mind:

  1. In Maryland homes permitted or built after 2008, carbon monoxide alarms are required; if your home is more than ten years old, we URGE you to install these invaluable and inexpensive devices in your home whether or not it is required by law. The same is true for propane detectors, which add a failsafe to propane leak detection in the event that something inhibits the rotten egg smell of the gas (rust inside your tank, for example, can reduce the strength of the rotten egg smell). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for operating and placing each device.
  2. Be sure to have your propane heating and home comfort equipment serviced regularly – it will keep you safer, lower your monthly bills, and help your technician spot a small issue before it becomes a more serious problem requiring costly propane equipment repairs.

Your family’s safety is always our priority! Contact us today to learn more about propane safety in your Delmarva home.