What to Do if You Smell Gas

Propane is safe, economical, clean-burning, and versatile fuel when used properly. This section will instruct you on the steps to take if you should smell propane and suspect a gas leak.
 

Propane Facts

 
  • Propane (also called LPG–liquefied petroleum gas–or LP gas) is a safe, economical, clean-burning guel when used properly.
  • Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources, including open flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks, and static electricity.
  • To make propane easier to detect in the event of a leak or spill, manufacturers deliberately add a chemical compound to give it a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray.
 

What Does Propane Smell Like?

 
Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. Propane manufacturers add this smell to help alert customers to propane leaks.

Make sure everyone in your family can recognize the smell of propane.

Some people may have difficulty smelling propane. For example, some older people have a less sensitive sense of smell. Certain medical conditions, or the effects of medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs can make it more difficult to smell propane.

Consider purchasing a propane gas detector as an additional measure of security.

Odor loss is an unintentional reduction in the concentration of the odor of propane. This makes it more difficult to smell.

Although rare, this can be caused by the presence of air, water, or rust in the cylinder. New and reconditioned small cylinders that sit too long before being filled are prone to internal rust when moisture and air get inside.
 

If you smell gas, at any time, inside or outside your home:

 
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