Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Safety Alert

Propane Safety Info:

What is Propane?

  • Propane is a flammable gas commonly used for cooking, heating and in other applications where a portable energy source is needed. The gas has an unpleasant odor of sulfur, or rotten eggs.

How will I know if it is leaking?

  • Propane can be detected by its unpleasant odor. If you can smell the gas, a dangerous situation may exist.
  • Electronic gas detectors sound an alarm when they sense gas is present. They are similar in appearance to smoke detectors. Battery-operated and hard wired models are available. Cost can be as low as $50.

In the event you suspect a leak:

  • If you suspect a propane leak you should alert others and leave the area immediately. Do not turn any electrical switches including lights on, or off.
  • Do not attempt to find the source of the leak yourself - call for help immediately.
  • Notify the fire department and your gas supplier from a neighbor's phone or a cell phone from a safe location.

How should I maintain my propane system?

  • Do not place combustible materials near fuel burning appliances.
  • Do not place anything near fuel burning appliances so as to block or interfere with normal air flow to the burner.
  • Maintenance, modifications, alterations and repairs to your propane system must be performed by trained technicians, do not attempt to work on piping and/or appliances yourself.
  • Never tamper with, or attempt to adjust, safety devices, regulators or storage tank fittings.
  • All fuel burning devices should be cleaned and inspected according to the manufacturer's, or gas supplier's, recommendations.
  • Cooking stoves should have blue flames. A yellow flame indicates a problem that can probably be corrected by a service technician.
  • If you suspect a gas appliance has been damaged by flooding, have it serviced by a trained technician before attempting to use it.
  • If your gas supply is interrupted in any way (tank runs empty), pilot lights will have to be re-lit as soon as the supply is re-established. Many newer appliances use electronic ignition and have no pilot light.
  • Propane cylinders larger than 1 lb. should not be stored or used inside a residence.

What about carbon monoxide.

  • Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that has no color, taste or odor. It is produced when fuels such as propane burn. If an appliance is connected to a properly functioning chimney, the carbon monoxide will be vented to the outside through the chimney.
  • Never use a fuel burning barbecue grill indoors, regardless of the fuel. The grill can produce large amounts of carbon monoxide that replaces the clean air in your home.
  • Never use a gas range or grill to heat your home. Even your kitchen stove produces carbon monoxide that may accumulate in dangerous amounts if the burner remains on for an extended period.
  • An improperly functioning fuel burning device can create a carbon monoxide hazard in the building. Your home should have a carbon monoxide detector. Call the local fire department if your carbon monoxide detector activates. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, loss of muscular control, vomiting, and watering eyes. Evacuate the building and call for help if you or family members experience these symptoms.