The best time to learn about propane safety is before an emergency.
Propane is a very safe and versatile source of energy, but as with any type of fuel, there are steps you need to take to further ensure your safety. In fact, most, if not all propane emergencies can be avoided with a good understanding of these basic propane safety procedures established by the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC).
Tevis Propane is committed to your safety and the safety of our employees. That’s why we place safety ahead of every other service we provide.
If you smell gas or suspect a leak:
- Put out any smoking materials and other open flames.
- Get everyone out of the house or building immediately.
- Do NOT:
- Operate electric switches or appliances
- Light matches
- Use a phone
- Create static electricity
- Close all gas tanks or cylinder supply valves, and leave them closed until help arrives.
- Use a neighbor’s phone and call:
- Local fire department (or 911)
- Tevis Propane (410-239-3900), or another trained propane service technician.
- Do not re-enter the building, even if you no longer smell gas.
- Have leaks repaired by Tevis Propane or another trained propane service technician. A GasCheck should be performed before any pilots are relit.
What Is a GasCheck?
GasCheck is a safety certification program and consumer education program developed by the National Propane Gas Association. It includes a rigorous protocol for testing residential propane systems for gas pressure, gas leaks, and proper operation of all its components. The homeowner gains valuable knowledge about the safe operation of their propane system as they shadow our trained technician during each test.
When should a GasCheck be performed?
A GasCheck should be performed every two years, or if any of the following events occur:
- Addition of a new appliance to your system
- A propane gas line is interrupted
- Your system runs out of propane
- You smell propane
If you are unsure if you are due for a GasCheck, please contact us.
General Propane Safety Information:
- Keep propane gas and containers away from heat, sparks, and flame.
- Don’t store cleaning fluids, oil-soaked rags, gasoline, or other flammable liquids near a propane appliance where vapors could be ignited by the pilot light.
- Change or clean furnace filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Propane is odorized and smells similar to rotten eggs.
- Click here to request a scratch-and-sniff pamphlet to help your family recognize its distinctive odor.
- In some situations propane’s odor may diminish, making it difficult to detect. If a leak is suspected, follow the above propane leak instructions.
- Propane gas is heavier than air and sinks to the lowest spot (i.e., basement or crawl space).
- Never test for a propane leak using an open flame. Only suitable leak detection devices may be used, such as non-corrosive soap mixtures and electronic leak detectors.
- Tampering with propane tanks and equipment is dangerous.
- Do not force the gas control knob. Never use tools to turn the gas control knob. Use only your hand. Forcing the gas control knob may damage or override safety features and allow gas to leak.
- Do not tamper with any safety devices, regulators or storage tank fittings.
- Do not tamper with your system’s supply lines or appliances.
- Keep propane storage containers closed. Do not bleed lines in enclosed areas.
- Avoid contact with eyes, skin, or clothing. Escaping propane may cause freeze burns.
- Provide adequate ventilation. Escaping propane can cause suffocation when released in areas with poor ventilation.
- Installation or repair of propane gas appliances or equipment must be performed by a qualified technician.
- Have a GasCheck performed after installation of new appliances, changes to your system, or every two years.
If the Pilot Won’t Light:
- If you have trouble lighting the pilot or keeping it lit, there may be a safety feature preventing it from lighting.
- Always read the appliance operating instructions before attempting to light the pilot. An instruction plate or sticker is usually attached to each appliance. (Many of today’s major gas appliances have electronic ignition rather than a pilot, which means that the appliance will light automatically when the appliance is turned on.)
- If the pilot will not light, shut off the gas and contact Tevis Propane or a trained propane service technician. In many instances we will be able to walk you through the pilot-lighting procedure over the phone and/or determine if a larger problem exists.
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Propane Safety and Winter Storms:
Heavy snow, extreme cold, sleet and ice, and near-blinding blizzards may all be part of winter, but being unprepared for them shouldn’t be. If your home or business uses propane to generate heat or run appliances, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your family safe and avoid potential dangers
- Make sure you have an adequate propane supply. With Tevis Propane’s automatic delivery service you never run out of propane.
- Mark the location of your tank with a flag, pole, or stake that is higher than the average snow cover depth for your location. These markers will help you avoid plowing or shoveling rooftop snow on top of your tank. Should your tank become covered with snow, use a broom to clear it.
- After a winter storm passes and it is safe to do so, check the entire area for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank. Contact Tevis Propane immediately if your propane tank is damaged or your local utility company for downed power lines. Do not attempt tank repairs yourself.
- Check your chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and propane tank for damage, blockage, or debris caused by snow and ice. Use a broom rather than a shovel, and clear these areas frequently. This will help reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning due to blocked or damaged chimneys, flues, and vents.
- Never use a stove for space heating and never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly in the event of a power outage. Proper ventilation is necessary for their safe operation; and carbon monoxide fumes emitted can be lethal. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use. Never store, place, or use a propane cylinder indoors or in enclosed areas.
- Use extreme caution when operating portable generators. Never use a portable generator (gasoline, diesel, or propane) indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.
- Exercise sound judgment. Stay calm; use radios, television, and telephones to stay informed and connected. Remember, winter storms can last several days and roads may be inaccessible for fuel delivery.