When it comes to propane and keeping your family and North Carolina home safe, your nose knows best!
Propane is naturally odorless, but propane manufacturers add a chemical to it to give propane a distinct odor so that it smells like rotten eggs. That smell is there to make detecting a propane leak easier.
If you smell that rotten-egg smell in your home, don’t panic. Act quickly and follow these instructions and precautions.
An outside propane smell (or a hissing sound that could be propane gas escaping) is also a cause for concern. Please, do not try to locate the source of the leak yourself. Instead, you should get away from the area where you smell gas and contact emergency services. Please do not attempt to use your cell phone in an area where you smell gas, as it can produce a spark.
Additionally, you should not operate any vehicle in the area where you smell gas. You should do your best to prevent other people from entering the affected area.
Although propane is a non-toxic fuel, it can cause asphyxiation. According to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), symptoms of propane gas inhalation at low levels are:
At higher levels, you may experience:
If your home has any fuel-burning appliance (like a propane range or gas log) or an attached garage, you must install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on every level of your home and outside all bedrooms. Test them twice a year and replace the batteries each time. CO detectors must be replaced every five years.
But CO detectors won’t alert you to a propane leak. We strongly recommend that you install propane leak detectors in your home. These devices can detect gas leaks in the vicinity. They’re inexpensive, and you can find them at hardware and home improvement stores. Be sure to get a device that is UL-tested and certified.