Propane Safety Guidelines for the Home

Posted: October 22, 2014

Date: October 22, 2014
Posted by: Steve Kimmel, Senior Service Technician & Volunteer Fireman

Safety First

If you have a propane heating system in your home, you already know how effective and efficient it can be (if you don’t, contact us – we’ll tell you all about it). Propane is also a remarkably safe fuel, due in large part to strict codes and regulations developed by the propane industry and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

But like any energy source, propane requires proper care to operate safely and we take this responsibility very seriously. We comply with the propane industry’s “Duty to Warn” standard that requires suppliers of propane to inform customers of potential hazards and ways to notice and avoid them. This is an ongoing practice in our industry and we encourage everyone to read through the information that we provide to our customers every year to become familiar with propane safety. One of the pieces that we send out contains a “scratch & sniff” dot to let customers know what propane smells like and we include information on carbon monoxide dangers and detection.

As we enter the fall and winter heating season, here’s a reminder of five key safety guidelines for using propane in your home.

  1. Know how to respond to a leak.

    Propane leaks smell like rotten eggs — teach your family to recognize the smell. If you smell a leak, quickly leave the house with your family. When you leave the house, do not touch any electrical outlets or light switches or operate any appliances or equipment – including the phone or your cell phone. Get to a safe place, call 911 to report the leak and contact us also – we have 24/7 coverage for emergencies.

    Propane leak detectors are also available at your local hardware stores.

  2. Leave repairs to the pros.

    Please do not, under any circumstances, attempt to fix, modify, or maintain your own propane system or appliances. We invest a great deal of time and money training our technicians in proper maintenance and procedure for one reason: your safety. Being a do-it-yourselfer is great for many things around the home, but working on your propane system isn’t one of them. If you need service for your propane system or appliances, let us know.

  3. Maintain your equipment properly.

    Routine maintenance and inspection by a trained Wilson technician can help spot issues before they become expensive and potentially dangerous problems. Contact us to schedule an annual tune-up of your heating system – or to sign up for an economical Wilson Service Plan.

  4. Don’t run out of gas.

    If your propane tank runs out of gas, any pilot lights on your appliances will go out, which can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly. Rust in a moist, empty tank can also decrease the odor of propane, making it more difficult to smell a leak. Monitor your propane levels regularly – or better yet, let us do it for you with our Automatic Delivery service.

    We encourage you to visit our Propane Safety section for additional and interactive information on many propane safety topics.

  5. Remember the three “Nevers” in the event of a power outage.

    • Never use outdoor propane appliances (barbeque grills, portable generators, or portable heaters) indoors or in enclosed areas.
    • Never store or place propane cylinders indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement or garage.
    • Never use a gas oven or range burner to provide space heating.

    You can learn more about what to do in the event of a power outage here.

    Your safety is our priority at Wilson, so if you have any questions about using propane safely in your home, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!