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What Does Propane Smell Like?

Written on: April 10, 2023

Important propane safety tips from AFC

smell of propane clinton, me Propane has an impeccable safety record, due in part to stringent government regulations and the high standards of businesses such as AFC.

If you have propane in your Central Maine residence, it is essential to understand the propane safety protocols for its use and how to ensure that your family remains safe should a leak occur. It’s vital to recognize what odor propane gives off so that you can take appropriate measures if needed.

The smell of propane

Propane, by itself, has no odor. So that it can be detected if there is a leak in the system, an odorant like ethyl mercaptan is blended into propane during production.

This unmistakable scent is akin to that of rotten eggs or skunk spray. Its strong aroma is an effective warning sign and should not be overlooked!

Protect your home from propane leaks

To protect against propane leaks, it is essential to have all of your propane-powered appliances regularly serviced by a professional.

Licensed, trained, and experienced AFC service technicians are available to conduct a thorough inspection during the tune-up. Should any potential issues be identified that could lead to propane leaks, these technicians can rectify them swiftly.

To ensure the safety of your home, consider investing in propane leak detectors. These need to be positioned near any fuel-operated appliances such as water heaters, cooktops and fireplaces. Additionally, remember that these should be no higher than bed pillows or lower since gas is heavier than air.

Contrary to popular belief, carbon monoxide detectors and propane leak detectors are not one and the same. Carbon monoxide alarms do not detect propane gas leaks, nor can a propane detector sense dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. To protect yourself and your family, it is essential that you have both types of devices in your home.

I smell propane gas. What do I do?

We’re going to start with what not to do if you smell propane gas.

First, don’t panic. Once you have familiarized yourself with our propane leak safety instructions below, you will know the steps to take if a leak occurs.

Second, don’t take time to try and figure out where the propane gas smell is coming from. That’s a job for the professionals.

Here are the steps you need to take if you smell propane gas in your home.

  1. Get everyone, including pets, out of the house immediately.
  2. Before you leave, make sure to put out any open flames such as candles or cigarettes as they are sources for ignition.
  3. Don’t operate light switches, telephones, vape pens or anything else that could create a spark before you’ve made it away from the house safely.
  4. Shut off the propane supply valve on your tank if you can access it safely. It’s essential that all adults in your home are aware of this procedure, so be sure to reach out if anyone needs a lesson.
  5. Call 911 and AFC as soon as you are a safe distance away from the source of the leak.
  6. Keep a safe distance in order for first responders and service technicians to locate the source of the leak and repair it. Wait to receive clearance from them prior to returning.

Do you have questions about propane safety? Get in touch with AFC and we’ll be happy to help.