Know What To Do If You Smell A Gas Leak

Posted: June 12, 2023

Tips You Should Know to Keep Safe

propane leak Wayne county, nc What’s that smell? If you think you detect the odor of rotten eggs, skunk, or dead animal, you may have a gas leak. Propane is a safe and efficient energy source. But an unchecked leak can result in an explosion. Knowing what to do if you smell gas can help ensure the situation is resolved safely and quickly. Make sure you know the smell of gas, and learn these steps to keep your family and home safe.

  1. Know the Smell. Because it’s naturally odorless, all propane has an additive (mercaptin) that smells like rotten eggs or skunk so that it’s quickly and easily identified.
  2. Leave Immediately. If you smell gas, get people out of the house and away as quickly as possible. Do not do anything that could create a spark: do not use a phone, turn lights on or off, or switch on or off any appliances.
  3. Call for Help. As soon as you are away—across the street or down the block is good—call 911 and then call us.
  4. If you can safely access the shut-off valve on your propane tank or cylinder, turn it off. Do not return to your home until first responders have told you it’s safe, even if you no longer smell gas.

Propane Safety Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t let your tanks hit empty. The loss of pressure can lead to a variety of problems and will require pressure tests before refilling.
  • Do set up automatic delivery to avoid running out of gas.
  • Don’t attempt to relight a pilot light if you smell gas. If you do relight a pilot light yourself, follow manufacturer’s instructions exactly.
  • Do call us if a pilot light goes out frequently.
  • Do let us know if flames are yellow or you notice a significant amount of soot. Gas flames should be mainly blue when burning correctly.
  • Don’t store cleaning fluids and flammable substances near your propane tanks.
  • Do not turn the gas back on yourself if you have shut it off because of a suspected leak.

Outside Gas Leaks

An outdoor gas leak may be harder to detect, because the smell can dissipate. Signs of a gas leak outside can include a white cloud, bubbles in water, blowing dust, or dying plants. You may also hear a roar, hiss, or whistle. Follow the same precautions: walk away from the area avoid creating any sparks (such as starting a car) and call 911.

Safety First, and Always

If you’re concerned that you may not be able to smell a propane leak, consider placing propane gas detectors in your home. Much like the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, these units will alert you to any potential leaks.

There’s no question that propane fumes are dangerous. However, serious leaks are rare and are typically only brought on by long-term neglect of your tank and heating system. At Rand Wade, your safety and comfort is our priority, and we’re committed to providing safe propane delivery and propane equipment installations.

Contact us today for more information.