propane safety iowa

Propane Safety

If You Smell Gas:

  1. No flames or sparks! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames.
  2. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or 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 right (clockwise).
  5. Report the leak. From a neighbor’s phone 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.
*Information provided by the Propane Education and Research Council

Can You Smell It?

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

On rare occasions, propane can lose its odor. Several things can cause this including:

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 warning concerning the appliance before attempting to light the pilot.

Running Out of Gas:

If you have an out of gas situation or interruption in service (i.e. gas supply shut off to replace an appliance), your tank will not have propane added or the system restarted without a leak test and regulator inspection being performed by the delivery driver. The driver will determine if an out of gas situation is present when he arrives at your home. A responsible adult must be home for the delivery driver to perform the leak test and regulator inspection. If nobody is available, your propane tank will be shut down and locked to prevent any propane from entering your home until we are sure there is no leak or deficiency in your propane system. Your safety is very important to us!