Propane Safety

General Safety Tips
Know what propane smells like. United Ag Cooperative has pamphlets available with a scratch-and-sniff spot so that your entire family can recognize the smell. (Annual safety mailings will include the scratch-and-sniff.) Propane leak detectors, similar to carbon monoxide detectors, are available. Many local Hardware stores have them available near there Smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors.

If you smell a leak, immediately evacuate everyone from the building and call your local propane supplier or the fire department from your neighbor's phone. DO NOT remain in the building, use the telephone or light switches. DO

NOT try to determine the source of the leak by yourself.

Be aware of where gas service lines are located, especially when working in your yard.

Water can damage the internal safety mechanism in the gas controls of an appliance. If you suspect that your appliance gas controls may have gotten wet (because of flooding, for example), have a trained technician replace them immediately.)

Heating Appliances
All furnaces can collect lint and dirt and should be cleaned regularly. Contact Your local HVAC contractor for regular maintenance, and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Water Heaters
Drain your tank periodically (until water runs clean - usually 2 to 3 gallons) to get rid of sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank.

Have your unit serviced if the burner flame is not blue. The blue flame indicates complete combustion. A yellow flame means air inlets are clogged or burners need adjustment. Contact your local HVAC company immediately. Do not cover the oven bottom with foil - it can restrict air circulation.
Never use gas ranges for home heating.

Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide may be produced from burning common heating fuels like wood, coal, fuel oil, kerosene, natural gas, and propane. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so it's difficult to detect. If you suspect you have carbon monoxide get out of the building and get fresh air, then call a heating and ventilating specialist to inspect your heating system. Here are some common indicators of carbon monoxide contamination:
  • An undefined chronic odor inside the building
  • Dying house plants
  • Condensation on cool, indoor surfaces
  • Discoloration or soot buildup at warm air outlets of the heating system
  • Fatigue, Nausea
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