What should I do if I think I smell propane?
Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray or a dead animal. Because propane is an odorless gas, manufacturers add this smell deliberately to help alert customers in the event of a leak. Not sure you’d recognize the smell of propane? Give us a call. We’d be happy to send you a scratch-and-sniff brochure or let you smell the propane the next time we are out filling your tank.
Follow these steps:
NO FLAMES OR SPARKS. Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, electrical switches, telephones, or cell phones.
LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect a leak.
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).
REPORT THE LEAK. Call from a neighbor’s home or other nearby building away from the gas leak, call us right away. If you can’t reach us, call 911 or your local fire department.
DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA. Wait until a professional determines that it is safe to do so.
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.
Let us know if you have any questions or if you would like a free scratch-n-sniff brochure.
Here are some gas grill cylinder safety tips you should keep in mind.
Transporting small cylinders:
- Always transport and store a cylinder in a secure and upright position so it will not fall, shift or roll.
- Always close the cylinder valve and, if required, seal with plug, even if the cylinder is empty. Ask if a plug is needed.
- Never keep a filled cylinder inside a hot vehicle or transport inside a closed truck.
- Always place the cylinder in a well-ventilated area of the vehicle.
- Always proceed directly to your destination and immediately remove the cylinder from your vehicle.
- There is a limit placed by law on the number of cylinders that can be transported in closed-bodied vehicles such as passenger cars and vans. Ask us for more information on state and local codes in place to help keep you safe.
Storing small cylinders:
- Never store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed or tent.
- Never store or place a propane cylinder in an area of excessive heat (120 degrees or higher) or near a stove, fireplace, or other heat source. The heat builds up pressure inside the cylinder, which may cause the pressure relief valve to release propane.
- Never store or place a spare cylinder under or near a barbecue grill.
- Do not smoke or have any ignition sources such as flames or spark-producing electrical tools in the area while handling or transporting cylinders.
- Do not under any circumstances try to modify or repair a propane cylinder or appliance parts.
Benefits of Propane
Using propane benefits more than just your pocketbook. You’re probably aware of the fact that propane is a less expensive alternative to electricity. But do you know the other benefits of this exceptional energy? Here’s a sample of some of the ways propane can make your life better.
Warm, Fuzzy Feeling
The heat generated by propane makes you feel good. A typical propane-powered heating system warms air to about 140 degrees. Compare this to a typical electric system, which only warms the air to 96-98 degrees, and you’ll understand why electric heat feels like a cold draft on your skin.
Propane gas stoves and fireplaces also heat more evenly and more efficiently than wood-burning ones. They can also heat a larger area, meaning less reliance on primary home heating systems and significant cost savings. Wood-burning fireplaces can lose up to 90 percent of their heat through the chimney. Fireplace heat also tends to fade just a few feet from the hearth.
A Colorado Clean Air Campaign study showed gas logs will burn 40 times longer than wood-burning fireplaces and still not produce the same emissions. The difference is so significant that in some states the use of wood-burning fireplaces is prohibited on days when air quality is poor.
Propane gas fireplaces can produce twice as much heat as wood-burning ones at about a third of the cost. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a gas fireplace costs 30 percent to 60 percent less per hour to operate than a wood-burning fireplace.
Turning to a more efficient propane furnace, water heater, clothes dryer, range or other propane-powered appliances will save you money, help the environment and keep you warm.
Clean & Green: What Color is Propane?
You may appreciate the warmth and efficiency of propane, but did you know it’s also green?
Propane is an approved alternative fuel in both the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. It is nontoxic and insoluble in water. Because it is used as a gas, it does not spill, pool or leave a residue. It’s a safe fuel to store underground, as it will not contaminate groundwater, even in the unlikely event of a leak.
And its carbon footprint, a measure of it’s impact on the environment, is much less than other fuels. A gallon of propane burned produces about half the carbon dioxide (CO2) as a gallon of fuel oil. Compared per Btu of fuel, propane releases less CO2 than ethanol, gasoline, bio-diesel, kerosene, or coal.
In traditional tank water heating, electric heaters produce 150 times the greenhouse gas emissions of a propane heater. A tankless propane water heater can even further reduce emissions.
Source: Propane Education and Research Council, climatecrisis.net
You should contact Brooks Gas Company when you:
- Smell propane
- Suspect you have a leak in your system
- Need a propane appliance connected or disconnected
- Move, or if there will be a change in tenant status
- Purchase a new or replace an existing propane appliance
- Have plans for an outdoor project that requires digging
- Experience a life change such as a new baby or a child moving away