Propane is one of the safest sources of home energy around – but like any fuel, you have to know how to use it safely. When it comes to propane safety, the most important thing to remember is how to detect a leak and what to do if you have one.
If you have a gas leak, your house will smell like rotten eggs – this is an odorant added to propane so you can more easily detect the leak (since propane itself is odorless). Make sure everyone in the house can recognize the odor.
If you smell a gas leak:

  • 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 – this is 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 a professional inspects it.
  • Remember: if your propane system is turned off for any reason – including a leak – the law requires it to be professionally inspected and pressure-tested before it can be turned on again.

Two other things to keep in mind:

  1. In North Carolina homes permitted or built after July 1, 2008, carbon monoxide alarms are required within 10 feet of every room used for sleeping. If your home does not have a detector, we URGE you to install these invaluable and inexpensive devices your home whether or not it is required by law.The same is true for propane detectors, which add a failsafe 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 – more on this in a future blog).
  2. Have your propane heating and fuel-burning home comfort equipment serviced every year – it will keep you safer, lower your monthly bills, and help your technician spot a small issue that can lead to a bigger and more dangerous problem down the road.

Your safety is always our priority! If you have any propane safety questions, contact us any time!