Is Propane Safe to Use?

Written on: December 19, 2022

Propane is safe, but you need to know some safety best practices

propane safety maine When gas leaks make the news, natural gas and propane are often inaccurately and unfairly conflated. People often believe that all gases are the same. However, they are not.

Yes, propane can be highly flammable in certain situations. However, leaks within propane systems are extremely rare. One reason many people are making the switch from electric or natural gas to propane is because propane is a safe, clean-burning way to heat your home and water and run many of your appliances.

You can be assured that AFC’s team of trained and experienced propane delivery drivers and service technicians, as well as the licensed plumbers who install your gas lines, will do their work to the highest standards for safety.

If you use propane in your Central Maine home, there is some key propane safety information you need to know. We’ll walk you through that and offer tips that will make you feel confident about having propane in your home.

What does propane smell like?

This is probably the most important fact about propane that you need to know, because this allows you to know if there is a propane gas leak in your home.

Propane is an odorless gas naturally, so an odorant, typically ethyl mercaptan, is added during production to enable people to easily detect leaks. This scent has been most commonly described as being similar to rotten eggs.

What should I do if I smell propane gas?

The first thing to do is not panic. Follow the below propane leak safety guidelines to protect your home and loved ones.

  • All possible sources of ignition, like cigarettes or candles, should be extinguished immediately.
  • Get everyone out of the house, including pets, right away.
  • While evacuating your home, avoid using any electronics that could create a spark, like light switches, phones, appliances, or thermostats. A spark from these can cause the leaking propane to combust.
  • If you can reach it safely, please turn off the propane supply valve on your propane tank. And if you don’t know how to do so now, please contact us and we’ll gladly demonstrate.
  • When you have gotten a safe distance away, call 911 and AFC.
  • Stay away while first responders and our service technicians find the source of the leak and fix it. Also, our service technicians will thoroughly inspect all gas appliances and relight all pilots.

Other propane safety tips

  • If you are having issues with the pilot light on a propane appliance, please do not try to fix it yourself. This is a job for a professional.
  • NEVER use a gas range, whether propane or natural gas, for space heating.
  • NEVER use a propane gas grill or generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a garage, carport, or sunporch.
  • Propane gas flames should consistently burn blue. If you are seeing yellow or orange in the flames, contact us for a service call.

AFC is dedicated to the safe delivery and use of propane. Please contact us with any propane safety questions you have.