Propane is a gas, but can be compressed into a transportable liquid which is called Liquid Propane Gas, or LPG. It can be used for cooking, residential heating, and even as a fuel for non-electric refrigerators. It is derived from petroleum products during the oil or natural gas refining process. The odorant ethanethiol is added so that people can easily smell the gas.
We encourage you to have a qualified service technician inspect your propane system and propane appliances periodically. In addition to servicing your equipment, they can perform pressure tests to confirm there are no leaks in the system.
What to do if you SMELL gas or suspect a propane LEAK
You should respond immediately to even a faint odor of gas.
NO FLAMES OR SPARKS! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames.
NO SWITCHES or ELECTRONIC DEVICES! Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or fire.
LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, but only if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
REPORT THE LEAK. From a neighbor’s home or other nearby building away from the gas leak, call 911 or your local fire department right away. Then call us at 607-863-3600.
DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until an emergency responder or qualified service technician has determined it is safe to do so.
GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Once the source of the leak has been addressed, before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, we must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.
Propane Safety and your Sense of Smell
Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. Propane manufacturers add the smell deliberately to help alert customers to propane leaks, which can create a safety hazard.
TAKE THE SNIFF TEST. Teach everyone in your home or building what propane smells like. Never ignore a propane odor.
CAN’T SMELL IT?
Sometimes people have difficulty smelling the rotten egg smell of odorized propane gas. If you have a condition that diminishes your sense of smell, we encourage the installation of a propane gas detector.
Propane Gas Detectors and Alarms
CONSIDER INSTALLING GAS DETECTORS.
A gas detector eliminates the possibility of being unaware of a propane leak by detecting the actual presence of the gas rather than relying on the ability to notice the odor.
Odor loss can occur in some situations, including:
- Air, water, or rust in a propane tank or cylinder can reduce propane odor concentration.
- If the propane is leaking underground, its passage through the soil may reduce the smell of propane.
- The propane odor may stick to the inside surfaces of gas piping and distribution systems and possibly other materials.
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED that you or others in your home may have difficulty smelling propane, we strongly encourage you to consider buying one or more propane gas detectors for your home.
DETECTOR QUALITY IS IMPORTANT. Be sure the units you buy are listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). To ensure propane gas detectors operate properly, install and maintain them as the manufacturer recommends.
Propane Gas and Run Outs
When your propane tank runs dry, for your safety it is essential we determine the cause. If there is a leak in your gas lines, an appliance valve has been left open, or there is an open gas line without a cap or shutoff valve, gas will continue to leak. Given the flammability and hazardous nature of propane gas, this can be extremely dangerous.
Following a run-out, A LEAK CHECK or PRESSURE TEST must be performed by a qualified service technician before we can fill up your tank again.
Propane Gas and your Appliances
LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS. Only a qualified service technician has the training to install, inspect, service, maintain, and repair your appliances. We recommend having your appliances and propane system inspected before the start of each heating season.
DO NOT TRY TO MODIFY OR REPAIR valves, regulators, connectors, controls, or other appliance and cylinder/tank parts. Doing so creates the risk of a gas leak that can result in property damage, serious injury, or death.