In its natural state, propane is an odorless and colorless
gas that is
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.
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.
and Characteristics of Propane
its natural state, propane is an odorless and colorless gas.
- A chemical
odorant has been added to propane to give it a distinct smell.
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.
of propane may cause flash fires or explosions.
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.
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.
your propane dealer for detailed information about using propane safely.
Know the Odor
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:
your propane dealer to demonstrate the smell of odorized propane and
provide an explanation about the odorant.
allergies, congestion or other similar medical conditions.
of tobacco, alcohol and/or drugs.
in a person's sense of smell.
fatigue from being exposed to the odorant for a period of time.
masking where strong odors can overpower the smell of the odorant.
gas passing through soil may reduce the smell of the odorant.
ordorant in the propane may not awaken a sleeping person
You Smell a Leak
- DO get
everyone out of the home and away from nearby areas.
- DO NOT attempt to find the leak.
- DO NOT attempt to repair your appliance or light your pilot light.
- DO NOT turn on or off light switches inside the home.
- DO NOT use a telephone inside the home or in nearby areas.
- DO NOT light matches anywhere inside or near the home.
- DO attempt
to shut off the valves at the tank.
- DO call
both your propane supplier and the fire department for help from a
telephone away from the home and nearby area
gas detectors are available as an extra measure to detect leaks. Gas
detectors are only an aid and are not intended to reduce or eliminate
proper safety procedures when a person smells the odor of gas, even
when the alarm on the gas detector has not been activated.
It is extremely important to follow manufacturers' instructions when
installing a detector.
When selecting a gas detector, you should choose only detectors that
are listed with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Energy Partners
does sell a detector that can detect propane, methane and carbon monoxide.
Please call your local office for more information.
Your Propane System
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.
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
- DO have
wet or flooded appliances and controls serviced immediately.
- DO NOT let your propane system run out of propane. If this happens, turn off
the gas valve 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
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: 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 should should an alarm to warn you of the presence of carbon monoxide.
Small Cylinder Safety
DOT-approved cylinders that are in good condition. When using a new cylinder for the first time, insist that your propane
dealer purge the cylinder to remove air and moisture from 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
use propane from a cylinder without a regulator.
- Do not
use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
off the valves on the cylinder when not use.
store a cylinder indoors or in an enclosed vehicle.
transporting a cylinder, make sure that it is secured and in the upright
position, so that the valves are in the vapor space.
smoke or have open flames near propane cylinders.
filling cylinders attached to your vehicle, be sure that all sources
of ignition are shut off; this includes pilot lights and vehicle engines.
your propane dealer for more cylinder safety information.
of snow and ice on regulators, piping, tubing and valves can cause damage
that could result in gas leakage. Keep snow and ice from accumulating
on tanks, regulators, piping, tubing and valves on the outside of your
building. Regulator vents must be kept clear of snow and ice to work
properly. When removing snow, exercise care around tanks, pipes, tubing,
valves, regulators, and other equipment to prevent damage. It is suggested
that a broom be used instead of a shovel when clearing snow from the
above-mentioned items. To assist us with providing safe service when
filling your propane tank, please remove as much snow as possible from
the walkway and tank area so our driver will have ready access to the
tank. Please note that if conditions to access your tank are marginal,
you may be charged a "chain up" fee. Deliveries may also not
be made if the truck cannot safely access the tank. If you have your
driveway plowed, please note that our trucks need to have at least
10 feet of width to be able to drive. Turn around areas need to be at
least 40 feet in diameter. Do not shovel snow off of roofs and onto
propane tanks, regulators, valves, piping or tubing on the outside of
buildings. The weight of the snow could damage the propane equipment.
Appliance vents, chimneys and flues must be kept clear of snow and ice
so appliances can vent properly. This is especially critical on the
roofs of mobile homes.
Wildfires can strike quickly-spreading fear, inconvenience and loss. So be prepared. It's the best way to protect your family and property.
- Know how and where to shut off your propane supply and other utilities.
- Always store propane tanks outdoors.
- Remove any debris or combustible materials from around storage tanks.
- Use caution when evacuating. Turn off the service valve on the propane container in a clockwise direction and shutoff valve on all propane appliances.
- Use caution when re-entering the residence or returning to the site.
- Check for gas odors. If a gas odor is detected, do not operate electrical switches, appliances, telephone or cell phones. These actions could ignite an explosion.
- If your propane tank has shifted, gas lines are bent, broken or damaged; or you notice something unusual about your system or appliance, safety permitting, turn off the main supply valve.
- Contact your propane supplier to schedule a complete inspection of your propane containers, piping and system to determine if fire damage has compromised its integrity.
- If valves have been shut off, a leakage test is required prior to reinitiating service. Storage containers may have to be repaired.