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What to Do If You Smell Propane

Published on: November 29, 2021

Keep Safe with These Useful, Year-Round Propane Tips

propane leak virginiaPropane is a clean-burning and safe way to heat your Southern Virginia home, water, and run many household appliances. But propane is also a highly flammable gas under certain conditions. As with any fuel, there are certain steps to take to ensure you and your home are kept safe and comfortable. Leaks are rare, but they can happen. Knowing what to do if you smell gas can help ensure the situation is resolved safely and quickly. Here’s what you need to know:

Gas Leaks

Propane has a distinct rotten-egg smell to help you quickly notice leaking gas. Make sure everyone in your home can recognize the odor. If you smell gas:

  • Leave the area immediately
  • Avoid all flames or sparks—including lights, appliances, phones, or cell phones—which could ignite the gas.
  • If you can, shut off the gas at the main valve on your tank—turn the valve clockwise until tight to do so.
  • Call us, or 911 from a safe area.
  • Stay away until help arrives

Propane Safety Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t store cleaning fluids and flammable substances near your propane tanks.
  • Don’t let your tanks run empty. The loss of pressure can lead to a variety of problems and will require pressure tests before refilling.
  • Don’t attempt to relight a pilot light if you smell gas. If you do relight a pilot light yourself, follow manufacturer’s instructions exactly as written.
  • Do clean furnace filters regularly.
  • Do set up automatic delivery to avoid running out of gas.
  • Do call us if a pilot light goes out frequently.
  • Do let us know if flames are yellow or you notice a significant amount of soot. Gas flames should be mainly blue when burning correctly.

Safety First—Always!

At SWVA, your safety is always our priority. All our technicians follow the highest safety standards for all your propane deliveries, and we invest in ongoing training to keep them up to date in the latest technologies and safety protocols available.

You can find links to more propane safety information on our propane safety page.

Remember that carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas produced no matter what type of fuel you use. It is odorless and tasteless, but high levels can be deadly. Be sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home—in addition to smoke detectors—and change the batteries twice a year. You can also install propane leak detectors, too. They’re inexpensive and easy to install—and can help detect a propane leak before you notice the smell.

If you have any questions about this information or any other propane safety issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us right away.