Propane is a highly energy efficient fuel that has low emissions, making it both cost effective and environmentally safe. If you use propane in your house, you should be aware that while it's a great choice for many homes it is necessary to take a few precautions. Keep reading to learn about the two propane safety tips that your whole family should be aware of.
When Something Smells Rotten: The Smell of Propane
One of the big signs that you have a propane leak is an odor in the home. This is a highly noxious smell that many people liken to rotten eggs. The moment that you catch this scent in the air, take action.
- Immediately extinguish any flames in the home
- Turn off any appliances that use propane
- Evacuate the home as quickly as possible
Once you have done the things above, contact a propane service technician for help. The service technician may recommend that you shut off the vapor service value on your propane tank before they arrive. This is a fairly simple process that your technician can walk you through over the phone if necessary.
When You Hear That Beep: The Use of Propane Leak Detectors
While your nose is a good indicator of a propane leak, it's not the best early response system. By the time you can detect the scent of propane in the air, the leak may already be very serious. A propane leak detector can alert you to the presence of propane in the air even before you're able to smell it.
Propane leak detectors are similar to carbon monoxide detectors, but they are typically two different things. Some carbon monoxide detectors can detect propane as well, but check your detector thoroughly when you buy it to make sure that it's a combination unit.
You can typically purchase a propane leak detector at a hardware store, a home improvement store, or online. These detectors typically plug into a wall outlet, but they are also made in wand form for easy portability. When the propane leak detector senses a significant amount of propane in the air, an alarm will sound, usually a continual beeping noise.
Lights on the propane detector will indicate the amount of propane detected.
- The green light means there is currently no propane detected
- The yellow light indicates low levels of propane
- The red light, which will be accompanied by the alarm, indicates potentially harmful levels of propane
When you hear the alert, it's time to call the propane service tech (such as one from Gas Production CO Inc) for assistance immediately.
Let your entire family know that they should be on the alert for both the smell and the sound of propane leaks. This will help keep your home a safe haven for everyone!