Propane Safety Tips

How to stay safe with Propane for your home.

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Propane, while an environmentally friendly fuel source is still requires proper handling. Those of us at ckSmithSuperior would like to pass along a few safety tips for regular Propane safety and some specific safety tips for the winter months.

Propane is an odorless and colorless gas. When used in the home, the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs is added to allow for easier detection in case of a leak. A Propane leak can happen at different points; at the tank (above or underground), from the piping, and at your appliance. A common propane leak happens when a propane appliance is turned on without an active flame. Typically someone bumps into the dial to set the temperature or the flame itself goes out. It is important that when you smell propane to immediately leave the area, don't use any electrontic devices and call Fire Department from a safe distance.

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From the Northeast Gas Association on Winter Propane Safety

  • There is a need to clear snow and ice from exhaust and combustion air vents or chimneys for gas appliances to prevent accumulation of carbon monoxide in buildings or prevent operational problems for the combustion equipment. Properly functioning carbon monoxide detectors should be deployed in the building.

  • Pay attention to snow and ice related situations that may cause operational problems for meters, pressure control and other equipment. This equipment may contain vents that release gas safely outdoors in the event of a malfunction. If these vents are blocked an unsafe condition could result.

  • The piping on service regulator sets is susceptible to damage that could result in failure if caution is not exercised in cleaning snow from around the equipment. Where possible, use a broom instead of a shovel to clear snow off regulators, meters, associated piping, propane tanks, tubing, gauges or other related equipment.

  • We also recommend that chimneys and vents should be protected using an approved cap or screen to keep small animals or insects from entering. These intruders have been known to build nests inside chimneys or vents that can create a blockage and cause potentially hazardous conditions.

  • Leave the building vicinity immediately if you detect a gas odor. Then, from a safe location, contact the gas company or designated emergency response official if there is an odor of gas present, or if gas appliances are not functioning properly.

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