What To Do If You Smell Gas in the Home

Do you know what propane smells like? If you or someone in your family thinks they small gas, do you know what to do next?

Although propane has many safety features and is considered a safe fuel, it’s important to recognize and know what to do in case of an emergency.

Manufacturers deliberately add a pungent odor — similar to rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal — to help homeowners determine when there is a leak in their propane system. If you smell gas, inside or outside of your home, immediately take these steps:

  1. Extinguish flames and sparks. Put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Avoid using anything that can create a spark or electrical charge such as lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones that can ignite an explosion or a fire.
  2. Leave the area. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
  3. Shut off the gas. If it is safe to do so, turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise). If you have more than one tank, turn them all off.
  4. Report the leak. Call your propane supplier right away — from a neighbor’s home or nearby building — and if you can’t reach them, call 911 or your local fire department.
  5. Do not return to the building or area. Wait until your propane supplier, an emergency responder, or a qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.
  6. Get your system checked. Have your propane supplier or qualified service technician check your entire system before attempting to use any of your propane appliances.

The Propane Council’s safety video series helps families learn more about propane home safety, including what to do if you suspect a gas leak.

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