Written on: October 12, 2020
Propane has an outstanding safety record, thanks to stringent industry standards and strong government regulation.
But you still need to know about propane safety.
One thing that is often mentioned is that propane has a distinct odor, usually described as a “rotten-egg” smell. Because propane, on its own, has no odor, the propane industry adds an odorant to give it that smell, so it can easily be detected.
But there are occasions when you may not smell propane. You may have a cold or allergies, or another medical condition that affects your sense of smell. Older people sometimes have a less sensitive sense of smell. Your sense of smell may be diminished by medications, alcohol, or smoking tobacco.
And, on very rare occasions, propane can lose its odor because there is water or rust inside the propane tank.
Those rare occasions are why we strongly urge our propane delivery customers to install propane detectors in their homes.
Propane detectors are reasonably priced. You can find them at hardware stores, home improvement stores, and online.
Install propane detectors where your propane appliances are. An example would be where your propane water heater and/or heating system are, or in rooms where you use a propane space heater. You also need to install propane detectors outside all sleeping areas.
But unlike smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, propane detectors should not be install high on the wall or on the ceiling. Propane is heavier than air, so it is closer to the floor. Install propane detectors no higher than the pillows on your bed, and lower if possible.
Carbon monoxide detectors are needed in all homes.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can kill. When carbon monoxide builds up in the bloodstream, it replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells. That means vital organs like your brain, heart and lungs aren’t getting the oxygen they need to function. CO poisoning can cause serious injury or death, and often occurs when people are sleeping or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
You need to have CO detectors on every level of your home, and outside all sleeping areas.
But most carbon monoxide detectors do not detect propane in your home. You need propane detectors as well.
Contact us to learn more about propane safety!