- In order to quickly recognize a leak, make sure you know what propane smells like. Propane retailers have pamphlets available with a scratch-and-sniff spot to help you learn to recognize the smell. You can also purchase a propane leak detector, similar to carbon monoxide detectors, from your propane supplier.
- Under certain circumstances, propane gas could lose the distinctive odor that was added. This is sometimes called "odor fade," and it can occur both in new steel containers when first placed into service and in used steel containers left open to the atmosphere for a long time.
- If you think you smell propane in your home, RV or the area around any gas equipment; or if a gas alarm signals the presence of propane, you should not assume that the odor of gas is a sign that your tank is running low.
If you smell gas in the house or if the gas alarm signals the presence of gas, IMMEDIATELY follow these suggestions:
- Extinguish all smoking materials and turn off any open flames or sources of ignition.
- Vacate the building or vehicle immediately.
- Do not use any electrical switches, appliance thermostats or telephones in the affected area.
- Turn your main gas shutoff valve to the off position (righty-tighty).
- Call your local propane supplier from a cell phone or neighbor's phone. If you cannot reach your propane supplier, call the fire department.
- Stay outside and leave the gas off until the leak has been found and fixed.
- Let the service person or the firefighters check for propane gas leaks. Have them air out the area before you return.
- Have properly trained propane service people repair any leak, then check and relight all gas appliances for you.
Even if you do not continue to smell propane, do not turn on the supply valve until a qualified propane service technician or emergency personnel tests for escaped propane. NEVER test for propane using an open flame. Only suitable leak detection devices should be used.
See 'Duty to Warn'