About Your Safety
Be alert to the odor of propane gas whenever you’re working around a gas appliance, or where gas is stored or used.
Propane gas by itself does not have a distinctive odor. So in order to keep you safe, an odorant is added.
That’s Ethyl Mercaptan you smell! It is added to propane to help keep us safe. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is THE stinkiest odor known to man!
When handled wisely and with respect, propane gas is safe, efficient and clean burning. Co-Alliance is extremely interested in protecting your family and your ability to use propane gas all season long. We encourage you to read the information provided. Then, sign and return the portion indicated so that we may deliver fuel to your account with confidence that you are knowledg- able about the advantages and risks of this fuel product. As always, if you suspect a fuel problem, leave the area immediately and call your Co-Alliance team. Your safety is our top priority.
Before lighting an appliance, such as a furnace, space heater or water heater, sniff all around, especially at floor level.
Propane gas is heavier than air and may temporarily settle near the floor, although it immediately starts to diffuse when released into the atmosphere.
If you smell gas, don’t light an appliance! Turn off gas to the appliance, have everyone leave the residence and call Co-Alliance from another location.
Be aware that some persons have different thresholds of smell and cannot detect the odor of propane as readily as others. Illness, as well as use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs can impair smell. Also, cooking odors, aerosols and other sprays can cover up odors.
If you ever smell gas, do not attempt to light the pilot. Do not turn on or off any electrical switches or use the telephone. Turn off the gas to the appliance and call Co-Alliance from another location.
If your new propane gas tank or cylinder contains gas but hasn’t been filled for several months, ask us to check the odor.
Close cylinder valves when empty. Protective caps keep moisture, air, dirt and contaminants out of the outlet. Older containers require a POL plug installed.
Please don’t ever assume that the odor of gas is a sign that your tank is simply running low. If you smell gas inside your home, immediately get outside and away from the building. Do not re-enter for any reason until the building has been checked.
Prevent problems by routinely examining your gas appliances. Arrange to have an annual inspection by a professional to ensure they are operating safely. In particular, consider the:
- venting systems
- accumulation of soot on components
- leakage of water around or through valves, fittings or jackets
- missing or damaged control components such as dials or knobs
- controls that have been under water (for example in flooding)
- unstable bases or platforms that may be warped
- corrosion, kinks or deterioration of the gas lines
- improper installation of the appliance
Appliances that are designed to vent to the outside must do so to remove harmful combustion gases from the area. Poisonous carbon monoxide can be produced from improperly installed or rigged appliances. Frequent headaches and nausea may be indicators that this colorless, odorless gas is causing carbon monoxide poisoning. Have appliances installed by qualified professionals. Check the vents and flues for blockages or corrosion. If you buy a used appliance, have it inspected.
Your gas system has three main parts:
- a tank or cylinder, equipped with a main shutoff valve
- one or more regulators, designed to reduce pressure between the container and your appliance(s)
- gas piping to carry the propane to your appliance(s)
The tank or cylinder is where the propane is stored. It is equipped with a shut-off valve. The regulator controls the gas pressure. The gas piping carries the gas to your appliances.
It is important for you to know the location of the main shut-off valve on the tank or cylinder. Remember its location and how to shut it off in an emergency.
Your pilot light is a safety device. If you have trouble getting it lit or keeping it lit, it may be an indication of a problem. Have it checked out.
Be sure to keep combustibles away from your appliances. Have a fire extinguisher readily available. Be sure appliances have plenty of clearance to allow air (oxygen) to flow around, facilitating proper functioning. Use gas grills only outdoors.
Properly maintained, your system will perform for you for years to come.