Propane Safety

The following brochure contains important information for you and your family.

Learn about how to safely store propane cylinders, what to do if a person is experiencing discomfort around propane, safety precautions for bad weather, and more. The brochure also contains information on what to do if there’s a propane leak and how to reduce the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Click on this link to view the PDF safety brochure (Note: a PDF viewing app may be required to view the PDF file properly).

Steps to take if you smell propane

  1. Turn off the propane supply at the tank(s).
  2. Open windows and doors to air out the premises.
  3. Exit the building until a qualified technician has determined that it is safe to re-enter.

General propane safety tips

  • Always keep flammable materials (e.g., paper, clothing, wood, gasoline, solvents, etc.) away from open flames.
  • Make sure you know how to shut off the propane supply from your tank or cylinder. If you’re not sure how to do it, contact us.
  • The propane liquid stored in your tank or cylinder can cause severe frostbite if it comes in contact with your skin or eyes.
  • Never store propane tanks or cylinders inside an enclosed building.
  • Treat all propane gas odours seriously. Odours can indicate a very dangerous situation.
  • Never assume that propane odour is the result of your tank being empty. If the odour persists, you may have a serious leak. Contact us immediately if you suspect a leak.
  • Leaks in open lines are extremely dangerous because there’s a potential for a large volume of propane to be released over a short period of time. Contact us immediately if you suspect a leak.
  • Close all lines not attached to appliances with threaded caps or plugs. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Propane system maintenance

  • Never modify or try to repair your propane system. Ask your propane supplier to send a trained technician to do the work.
  • Do not attempt to use an appliance or any other component of your propane system that has been labelled “out of service”. The label indicates a serious, unsafe condition.
  • If you have added or removed an appliance from your system, contact your supplier so that a technician can perform a required leak test.
  • Ask your propane supplier to conduct a regular gas safety check to inspect your system for leaks and ensure it meets all applicable safety standards. The technician will also check your tank, piping, regulators, gauges, connectors, valves, vents, thermostats, pilots, burners and appliance controls to make sure they’re all in an appropriate working condition.

Propane safety release valve

  • Propane expands when heated, which increases the pressure in the tank. Once the pressure reaches a certain point, the relief valve opens to release a small amount of vapour. That release keeps the pressure from building up inside the tank. Once excess pressure has been released, the relief valve closes automatically.
  • It’s important to keep your tank painted white or another reflective colour. A rusty, unpainted or dark-coloured tank can attract heat and cause pressure build-up, resulting in safety relief valve discharge.
  • Call your propane supplier whenever your relief valve pops off so they can determine the cause.

Propane appliance safety

  • All appliances should be installed and repaired by qualified technicians. Improper ventilation can starve the combustion processes inside the appliance and create a situation that could produce toxic carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas that can be deadly to humans. Usually, headaches and/or flu-like symptoms are the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If you suspect that any of your appliances have been improperly vented or may be producing carbon monoxide you should vacate the dwelling immediately and should discontinue the use of all appliances and contact your propane supplier or local fire department immediately for an inspection.
  • An appliance gas control is a precision mechanism that may malfunction if it is exposed to water from flooding, storms or any other environmentally damaging events. A flooded gas control must be replaced by a qualified appliance technician. Damaged gas control valves must be replaced.

Propane grilling tips

  • Do not use a propane gas cylinder if it shows signs of external damage, such as dents, gouges, bulges, fire damage, corrosion, leakage or excessive rust.
  • Before grilling, make sure the propane cylinder is secured to the grill as directed by the manufacturer.
  • After grilling, do not store the cylinder indoors or within an enclosed space.
  • Always open the grill hood before lighting, and light according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to start the fire.
  • Always grill in a well-ventilated area. Do not grill indoors or close to the side of a building.
  • Use foil or a drip pan to catch juices and avoid grease fires. To see how much propane is inside your cylinder, run a wet finger down the side. The wet streak will evaporate faster over the empty part of the cylinder.
  • To turn the cylinder valve on or off, always remember: “Righty-tighty/lefty-loosey.”

Propane pilot light

  • Notify your propane supplier immediately if you have a problem lighting a pilot.
  • Never attempt to modify or repair the gas control valves or any other component of a gas appliance.
  • Never light a pilot if you smell gas.
  • If you continue to smell gas, after lighting a pilot, turn off the gas valve immediately upstream of the appliance to stop the flow of gas. Then contact your propane supplier immediately to investigate the situation.
  • In most situations, it’s best to have a trained technician light the pilots on your appliances.

If you smell gas

If you think you smell propane in your home, camper, RV or in the area around any gas equipment, or if a gas alarm signals the presence of propane, you should immediately follow these suggestions:

  • Extinguish all smoking materials and any other open flames or sources of ignition.
  • Everyone should vacate the building, vehicle or area. Move away without using electric switches, appliances, thermostats or telephones.
  • Close the gas shutoff valve on the propane tank or cylinder. Call your propane supplier and/or your local fire department from a cellular or neighbour’s telephone.
  • Even if you do not continue to smell propane, do not open or turn on the propane supply valve. Do not re-enter the building, vehicle or area. Let a qualified propane service technician and/or emergency personnel check for escaped propane.
  • Have a properly trained propane technician repair the leak. The propane service technician or emergency responder needs to determine that the leak situation has been fully resolved. The propane service technician should check all of your gas appliances and re-light any appliance pilots.
  • Return to the building, camper, RV or area only when the service or emergency technician indicates that it is safe to do so.
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