About 25 million Americans use propane for everything from heating their homes to weeding their farms. But like any fuel, there are things you must know about propane to handle it safely. Consider these facts:
- Propane is heavier than air. If it leaks, the gas will collect first in low places, so mount gas detectors near the floor.
- Propane is naturally odorless; the smell is created with a chemical additive. If you're unfamiliar with this odor, call us.
If you haven't used a propane-fueled appliance recently, check it carefully. Be sure to sniff around the bottom of the appliance for that distinctive propane smell.
Remember: Whenever you smell a propane odor no matter how weak or strong treat it as serious as a leak. Call our Safety Department if you need any assistance at (337)239-2719. At Shawson Gas, your safety is always our top priority.
Under some of the following conditions, you may not smell a gas leak. So we recommend you install a propane gas detector(s) in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.
Some people (especially the elderly) are unable to detect the smell of gas.
Colds, allergies, sinus congestion, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, may diminish your sense of smell.
Cooking odors or other strong odors can cover-up the smell of gas.
On rare occasions, propane gas may lose its distinctive odor - this is called "odor fade". Air, water, and rust in a propane tank or cylinder may weaken the gas odor, especially if the valves were left open after the container has emptied.
Sometimes propane gas can lose its odor if a leak occurs underground.
Odorant in leaking gas can absorb (stick) to building materials such as unpainted or untreated masonry and rough wall surfaces, to furniture fabrics and drapes, and to the inside walls of gas piping and static or periodically used propane storage containers and distribution systems.
Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk's spray, or a dead animal. Some people may have difficulty smelling propane due to their age (older people may have a less sensitive sense of smell); a medical condition; or the effects of medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
If you think you smell gas
If you ever think you smell gas around your house, workplaces or around any gas equipment, you should follow these procedures immediately:
- Get everyone out of the premises immediately. Don't even turn off lights or shut off appliances.
- Shut off the gas supply using the shut-off valve on the tank or cylinder.
- Use your neighbor's phone and call us immediately.
- Stay outside and leave the gas off.
Have our trained service person re-light your gas appliances and equipment.
If you have any questions about these procedures, please call us at: (337) 239-2719
But your nose may not always work right. For example, research suggests that...
- Some people have a better sense of smell than others.
- Some elderly people are unable to detect the odorant in gas.
- On rare occasions, some people are unable to smell certain odors.
- Cold, allergies, and sinus congestion can all affect your sense of smell.
- Tobacco smoke or strong cooking odors can cover up other odors, too-and remember that the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs may also affect your sense of smell.
Under certain circumstances, propane gas may lose the distinctive odor that was added. This is sometimes called odor fade and it can occur both in new steel containers when first placed into service and in used steel containers left open to the atmosphere for a long time.
Your Best Bet Is a Gas Detector!
For more information Call us at (337) 239-2719
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