Power Outages

This section provides basic information about propane safety during power outages. Following these instructions will help ensure the safety of you and your family.

Important Things to Know Before a Power Outage

Know what propane smells like. It has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal.
Know how and where to turn off the propane. This includes your outdoor tank and your appliances inside. For help, contact your propane provider.

Important Things to Do Before a Power Outage

  • Consider installing carbon monoxide and propane gas detectors.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family in order to keep them safe during a power outage, or other emergency.

During a Power Outage

If a power outage occurs, use a battery-powered radio to listen for instructions from local authorities.

It is a good idea to turn off any lights and appliances that were operating before the outage occurred. This will reduce the risk of a power surge once the electricity returns. (You can leave at least one light on, so you will know when the power has returned.)

During an extended power outage, you may choose to use a portable generator.

NEVER use a portable generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.

Safety Rules to Follow

To help reduce the potential for injury or death, you should follow these safety rules at all times:

NEVER use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death. These include barbecue grills and portable heaters.

NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.

NEVER use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.

Wet Appliances Can Be Dangerous

A power outage can cause appliances such as a refrigerator or freezer to leak water. It can also cause a sump pump to stop working. If propane appliances get wet, this is a potentially dangerous situation. To help reduce the potential for injury or death, you should follow these safety rules at all times:

NEVER turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.

DO inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard.


After the Power Returns

If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply:

DO NOT use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician.

DO schedule a time for a qualified service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system. The technician can also perform a leak test on the system and re-light your pilot lights.

If You Smell Gas, at Anytime, Inside or Outside Your Home:


1. NO FLAMES OR SPARKS! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.

2. LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.

3. SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so.To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).

4. REPORT THE LEAK. From a neighbor’s home or other building away from the gas leak, call your propane retailer right away. If you can’t reach your propane retailer, call 911 or your local fire department.

5. DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until your propane retailer, emergency responder, or a qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.

6. GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances,your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.


Make Time for Safety

Thank you for making time for propane safety. To learn more, download our brochure 'Propane Safety for You and Your Family' or visit userpropane.com