Propane Safety Steps and Reminders

Carbon Monoxide

  • Not maintaining all of your appliances in good repair can result in potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Improperly vented appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include one or more of the following items: eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, sleepiness or excessive moisture buildup on the inside of windows.
  • If you identify any of the above-noted symptoms, ventilate immediately (i.e. open windows and doors) and call a qualified service technician for help.
  • Never use camping equipment or portable heaters that are not designed for recreational vehicles.
  • Consider installing one or more carbon monoxide detectors inside of your home or recreational vehicle, which may sound an alarm to warn you of the presence of carbon monoxide in the home.

Know The Odor Of Propane

In its natural state, propane is odorless and colorless. A chemical odorant has been added to give a distinct smell to the propane. The purpose of the odorant is to help people detect the presence of propane. It is important that members of the household are able to distinguish the smell of odorized propane. Under certain conditions, a person may be prevented from smelling the odorant such as:

  • Colds, allergies, congestion, or other similar medical conditions.
  • Use of tobacco, alcohol, and/or drugs.
  • Decline in a person's sense of smell.
  • Olfactory fatigue from being exposed to the odorant for a period of time.
  • Odor masking where strong odors can overpower the smell of the odorant.
  • Leaking gas passing through soil may reduce the smell of the odorant.
  • The odorant in the propane may not awaken a sleeping person

Maintaining Your Propane System

The propane system at your home or business should be installed, maintained and repaired only by qualified personnel. Call a qualified service technician to light or re-light pilot lights on your appliances.

  • DO NOT bleed gas lines into enclosed areas.
  • DO NOT tamper with gas controls on your appliances.
  • DO NOT use appliances that have been flooded or have become wet, since the controls can be damaged or become rusty and malfunction, causing the safety feature built into the controls to permit a dangerous leak of propane; DO have wet or flooded appliances and controls serviced immediately. Do not let your propane system run out of propane. If it happens, turn the gas valve off on the tank or cylinder and call your propane dealer.
  • DO have your propane system and all appliances periodically checked by a qualified service technician for proper operation and safety

Properties And Characteristics Of Propane

  • In its natural state, propane is an odorless and colorless gas.
  • A chemical odorant has been added to propane to give it a distinct smell.
  • Propane is stored as a liquid under pressure in tanks and cylinders.
  • In most residential applications, propane is used as a vapor.
  • If propane comes in contact with your skin, it can result in frost burns.
  • Concentrations of propane may cause flash fires or explosions.
  • Propane vapor is heavier than air, and it may collect initially at floor levels or in other low areas before it begins to dissipate; therefore, to check for the presence of propane, carefully smell all over a room, especially in low spots.
  • Even a slight gas odor may signal a serious propane gas leak, and you should take immediate action if you smell gas or suspect a leak.

Consult your propane dealer for detailed information about using propane safely

Small Cylinder Safety

  • Use only DOT approved cylinders that are in good condition.
  • When using a new cylinder for the first time, insist that your propane dealer purges the cylinder to remove air and moisture in the tank.
  • Propane will expand and contract depending on the temperature.
  • Cylinders should only be filled to 80% of capacity.
  • Propane is a flammable gas that has been odorized.
  • Know the odor of the gas. The odor is for leak detection.
  • Leaking propane may cause fires and explosions.
  • Before lighting propane gas appliances, check all connections for tightness using a leak detection solution.
  • Be sure to read the manufacturer?s instructions before operating gas appliances.
  • NEVER use propane from a cylinder without a regulator.
  • DO NOT use matches or lighter to check for leaks.
  • Turn off the valves on the cylinder when not using.
  • NEVER store a cylinder indoors or in an enclosed vehicle.
  • When transporting a cylinder, make sure that it is secured and in the upright position, so that the valves are in the vapor space.
  • NEVER smoke or have open flames near propane cylinders.
  • When filling cylinders attached to your vehicle, be sure that all sources of ignition are shut off; this includes pilot lights and vehicle engines.

Call your propane dealer for more cylinder safety information.

What Is Propane

In its natural state, propane is an odorless and colorless gas that is widely used to fuel appliances for heating, cooking, and other uses. While propane is used as a gas for fueling appliances, it is transported and stored as a liquid under high pressure in specially designed containers referred to either as tanks or cylinders. When liquid propane changes into a gas vapor, it expands in volume by about 270 times, meaning that propane is very economical to store and transport as a liquid rather than as a gas vapor. However, this characteristic also means that even a small leak of liquid propane can result in a much larger quantity of propane vapor, which can be especially dangerous in a confined space.

Similar to any other flammable gas or flammable liquid, propane is very safe when stored and handled properly. However, if propane is not properly and safely stored and handled, it can cause property damage, injuries, or even death. For this reason, it is important for the safety of the members of your household that they have a thorough understanding of the properties and characteristics of propane, and the hazards and risks associated with its use. Contact your local propane dealer with questions that you have about propane.

If You Smell Propane Gas

  • Put out smoking materials and other open flames.
  • DO NOT operate electric switches.
  • DO NOT light matches.
  • DO NOT use your phone.
  • Any spark or flame in the area where propane gas is present may ignite the gas. This could include the spark in a light switch, telephone, appliance motor, and even static electricity from walking around the room.
  • Immediately get everyone out of the building, vehicle, RV trailer, or area.
  • Close all gas tank or cylinder supply valves.
  • DO NOT re-enter the building, vehicle, RV trailer, or area. Use your neighbor's phone and call a trained LP-Gas service person and the fire department. Even though you may not continue to smell gas, DO NOT turn on the gas again.
  • Let the service person and firefighters check for any propane gas leaks. Have them air out the area before you return.
  • Have properly trained LP-Gas service people repair the leak, then check and relight all of your propane gas appliances for you.