How Can You Detect a Propane Leak?

Important Propane Tips to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe

propane leak Doylestown, pa Do you use propane to power your home’s heating equipment, hot water systems, or major appliances? So many households from Hunterdon, NJ to Greater Philadelphia, PA rely on this versatile and efficient fuel.

At Blue Flame, we’re honored to be their trusted propane delivery partner.

While propane offers innumerable benefits to homes in southern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, it’s still essential to take suitable safety precautions with it. Here’s how to identify a propane leak and take effective action to keep your family and home safe.

What Does Propane Smell Like?

Propane has no natural odor. That’s why propane producers add a gas called ethyl mercaptan or methanethiol to it. This additive is composed of carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur, and it makes the odor of leaking gas unmistakable. People describe propane’s smell as like rotten eggs, spoiled meat, or skunk spray.

Do Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors Alert You to a Propane Leak?

While CO detectors are essential for every level of your home and outside each bedroom, they do not detect propane leaks.

That’s why we strongly recommend that you also install a gas leak detector with Underwriter Laboratories (UL) certification. These products use sensors to measure the concentration of propane gas in the area. If the concentration of gas reaches an unsafe level, the alarm sounds. UL-certified gas leak detectors offer a crucial extra level of protection in case your sense of smell is impaired.

What are the Symptoms of Gas Exposure?

Another way to detect a propane leak is to identify the physical symptoms of gas exposure. According to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), the symptoms of low exposure include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Coughing
  • Irregular heartbeat

Significant exposure symptoms include:

  • Pain or numbness in limbs
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid loss of consciousness
  • Asphyxiation
  • Heart failure

How Should You React to a Propane Leak?

If you detect a propane leak in your home or the immediate area, you need to respond quickly:

  • First and foremost, leave the area right away.
  • Immediately put out all smoking materials and open flames
  • Don’t touch lamps, light switches, phones, or other electric devices. They can produce a spark.
  • If it’s safe, close the gas shutoff valve on your propane tank.
  • Once you’re away from the affected area, call emergency services and your propane company.
  • Stay away, even if you no longer smell gas.
  • Wait until emergency services or your propane technicians repair the leak, check all propane appliances, relight the pilots and confirm that you can return.

How Can You Ensure You’re Ready in Case of a Propane Leak?

While propane leaks are infrequent, it’s always a good idea to take precautions so you and your family are prepared.

  • Prominently post the contact information for local emergency services and your propane provider.
  • Learn how to shut off the propane supply from your fuel tank to your home.
  • Discuss with your family how to identify a gas leak and respond correctly.

You can gain valuable information from these PERC propane safety videos.

You can count on Blue Flame to deliver your home propane safely and effectively. Join our family of happy customers today.