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Propane Safety

We at Dutch Oil & Propane take pride in keeping your home and family protected. While propane is a safe, reliable, and clean energy source, it is important that you and the members of your household are familiar with basic propane safety tips.

What does propane smell like?

  • Propane may present the odor of rotten eggs, skunk spray, or a dead animal.
  • Some people may have difficulty smelling propane’s odor due to age, medical conditions, medications, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
  • Propane can lose its odor on rare occasions. This is due to:
    • Air, water, rust in a propane tank/cylinder
    • Passage of leaking propane through soil

What should you do if you smell gas?

  • Put out all smoking materials and any other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames/sparks can trigger an explosion or fire.
  • Evacuate the area immediately wherever you suspect the gas is leaking from.
  • Turn off the main supply valve on the propane tank (clockwise).
  • Call Dutch Oil & Propane, 911, or your local fire department immediately from the nearest home.
  • Do not return to the building until a qualified technician says it is safe to do so.

Carbon Monoxide and Your Safety

CO is something you cannot taste or smell. High levels of CO come from appliances not operating correctly or from a blocked venting system or chimney. These high levels can make you sick or dizzy and, in extreme cases, can cause brain damage or death. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and nausea.

Act immediately if you suspect CO is present!

  1. If anyone presents the symptoms listed above, get everyone out of the building and call 911 or the local fire department.
  2. If it’s safe, open windows to allow ventilation. Turn off any appliances you suspect may be releasing CO.
  3. If no one is experiencing symptoms, but you still suspect CO is present, call Dutch Oil & Propane to check CO levels and equipment.
  4. CO detectors can improve safety. Please consider installing a detector for an added measure of safety.

To reduce the risk of CO poisoning:

  • Have a qualified technician check your propane appliance and venting system annually
  • Install UL-listed CO detectors on every floor
  • Never use a gas oven/range-top as a heater
  • Never use portable heaters indoors unless approved for indoor use
  • Never use a barbecue grill indoors for cooking or heating
  • Regularly check your appliance exhaust vents for blockage

Running Out Of Gas

Running out of gas can cause serious safety hazards, including fire or explosion. If an appliance valve or gas line is left open, a leak could occur when the system is recharged with propane. If your tank runs out of gas, any pilot lights on your appliances will go out. This can be extremely dangerous. A leak check is required by a certified technician before turning on the gas.

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, as this creates the risk of starting a fire or explosion. It is strongly recommended that only a qualified service technician light any pilot light that has gone out. Carefully follow all manufacturer’s instructions and warnings concerning the appliance before attempting to light the pilot.

Keeping Your System Safe

With correct installation and routine maintenance, just like with any energy equipment, using propane in your home is safe and efficient. Only qualified service technicians have the training to install, inspect, service, maintain, and repair propane appliances. It is important to have your equipment inspected before the beginning of the heating season each year. We’ll take care of it safely and professionally.

If you have any questions regarding propane safety or to schedule propane equipment maintenance, please contact our office.