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How to Detect a Propane LeakPropane safety tips for you and your loved ones.

propane Orange County, NY At A.C. Howell, we regularly speak to customers in Orange County, NY, about using propane in the safest way possible. This versatile, efficient home fuel has an excellent safety record, backed by the high standards of companies like ours.

However, a propane gas leak can create a significant asphyxiation and explosion risk, so it’s vital that you know how to detect a leak and respond appropriately to it.

What does propane smell like?

Because propane has no natural smell, propane producers add an odorant called ethyl mercaptan or methanethiol. Odorized propane smells like spoiled meat, rotten eggs or skunk’s spray. This makes it easier to recognize a propane leak.

Will a carbon monoxide detector alert you to a propane leak?

Carbon monoxide detectors are essential safety devices that you need to install on every level of your home and outside all bedrooms. However, they will not alert you to a gas leak. So, we recommend that you install UL-listed gas detectors near your propane appliances.

Is propane toxic?

Propane has incredibly low toxicity. Even if an underground propane tank leaks, the fuel won’t negatively affect soil, groundwater, aquatic life, marine life or plant life.

A propane leak can lead to oxygen deprivation, though. The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) lists these the symptoms of low exposure to propane gas:

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

PERC also lists these symptoms of significant exposure to propane gas:

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

How should you respond to a propane leak?

If you smell gas in your home or anywhere else — or if you receive an alert from a gas detector — please follow these important steps:

  • Put out any sources of ignition like candles or cigarettes.
  • Get out of the house IMMEDIATELY.
  • Don’t use any light switches, thermostats, telephones or appliances until you are safely out of the house and away from the area where you smell gas. These products can produce a spark.
  • If you have safe access to the gas shutoff valve on the propane tank or cylinder, shut it off.
  • Once you are a safe distance away, call 911 and A.C. Howell.
  • Give emergency personnel and qualified propane service technicians time to check for escaped propane gas and do any repairs.
  • Do not go back to the area where the leak was or try to turn on the propane supply valve, even if you no longer smell gas.
  • Have a trained propane service technician repair the leak, carefully inspect all gas appliances and relight all pilots.
  • Wait until you have permission from emergency personnel or the service technician before going back.

A.C. Howell is here for your propane needs!

Our team is at your service for world-class propane delivery, propane tanks and a range of home propane appliances. As our customer, you can rest assured that you’ll always have a ready supply of premium propane and a service team at your disposal to ensure your gas equipment is working efficiently and safely.

Reach out today to become an A.C. Howell customer and get exceptional propane service.