Propane Safety Facts Every Homeowner Should Know
You may not have to heat your home with propane during the summer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t using the gas to power your built-in grill, water heater, pool or spa heater, backup generator, or other year-round appliances.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to revisit some propane safety tips so your family can enjoy peace of mind throughout the summer. Here are some propane safety reminders for your Northern California home.
Safety With Propane Reminders
- Learn and teach all adults in your home know how to shut the valve on your main propane storage tank in case of emergency. If you don’t know how, contact us.
- Make sure everyone in the house knows how to detect a propane leak, and what to do if you have one. Here are the basics:
- A propane leak smells like rotten eggs; if you detect that odor, follow the instructions below immediately.
- Avoid touching any equipment that could cause a spark (lights or light switches, appliances, telephones, cell phones, etc.); a spark can cause an explosion.
- Get everyone out of your house and call 911 from a safe distance away.
- If it is safe to do so, turn off the propane gas at the main tank; if you don’t know how to do this, contact us– it’s important information for the adults in your home to know.
- Go back in your home only after inspectors say it’s safe to do so.
- Don’t use your propane equipment again until a professional inspects it.
- Remember: if your propane system is turned off for any reason – including a leak – it must be professionally inspected and pressure-tested before it can be turned on again.
- Learn how to prevent and deal with carbon monoxide issues:
- Professionally service your propane heating equipment every year – this will help technicians spot a potential CO hazard early.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors, following manufacturer’s instructions for placement and maintenance. Replace batteries at least once a year, and replace the unit as suggested by the manufacturer (usually every five or ten years, depending on the model). We also strongly recommend installing propane leak detectors to protect against the potential for propane odor loss during a leak.
- Clear vents, chimneys, and flues quickly after a storm to make sure your home remains adequately ventilated.
- Learn the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and what to do if anyone in your home experiences them.
- If severe weather is forecast,
- make sure you have enough propane gas to last at least a week in case of road closures; if you don’t, schedule a propane delivery as soon as possible. Don’t forget to include enough fuel to run your propane backup generator if the power goes out!
- always follow the instructions of local authorities.
- if your propane equipment has been damaged or is not working properly, contact us right away. Remember: if you shut down your gas for any reason, the law requires you to hire a licensed professional to restart your system.
For more propane safety tips, visit the Propane Education Research Council (PERC) website.