If you smell propane in your home, IMMEDIATELY evacuate everyone and your pets and then shut the tank off. The shut off valve is located under the hood of the tank. Then, immediately contact Western Propane Service by calling from a neighbor’s home.
All systems installed by Western Propane Service are pressure checked at the time of installation to assure that there are no leaks and that the pressure in the lines is at the optimal operating level for each appliance’s operating level. If any lines are disconnected for any reason, a pressure check must be reapplied. Remember, if you are in doubt about anything regarding your propane gas system; please call us so we can insure the safety of you and your family.
The propane in your gas system is stored under pressure. While it’s stored, there’s no problem. However, in the unlikely event your system develops a leak (which can be caused by physical damage or deterioration), it can become dangerous.
Propane burns at an even rate when properly mixed with air, as in your stove or furnace. But, if a leak occurs, a flame or spark could ignite it. If that happens, it could cause a fire. Although such accidents are very rare, we want you to be aware of this possibility.
Know Your Propane System
Your propane system has four basic parts:
- A tank or cylinder, equipped with a main shutoff valve;
- One or more regulators, designed to maintain the proper pressure between the container and your appliance(s);
- Gas piping, to carry the propane to your appliance(s);
- Gas appliance(s).
The tank or cylinder is where the propane is stored. It is equipped with a shutoff valve, which turns the gas “on” or “off”. The regulator controls the gas pressure, while the gas piping carries the gas to your appliance(s).
It is important for all family members to know the location of the main shutoff valve on your tank or cylinder. Remember its location and become familiar with how to shut it off in an emergency situation.
How to Tell if There is a Leak
- By smell. A disagreeable odor is added to the propane so that you will be able to detect the smell easily in case a leak develops or an unlit burner is left on.
- By electronic gas alarm. If used, the gas alarm supplements a person’s ability to detect a gas leak and sounds a warning when it detects the presence of unburned propane.
What to do if You Smell Gas or the Alarm Sounds
Never just assume that the odor of gas is a sign that your tank is running low. If you smell gas in the house or if the gas alarm signals the presence of gas, IMMEDIATELY follow these suggestions:
- Extinguish all smoking materials and any other open flames or sources of ignition.
- Get everyone outside and away from the building.
- Shut off the gas supply at the tank.
- Check the level of the propane in the tank.
- Call Western Propane Service (805-922-8017) from a neighbor’s phone.
- Stay outside and leave the gas off until the leak has been found and fixed.
- Turn light switches, appliances or thermostats on or off, and do not use the telephone.
- Light or try to re-light any appliance(s). Leave this job to us.
- Re-enter the building, until the problem has been corrected.
Inspecting Your Appliances Routinely (at least annually) call Western Propane Service to examine your gas appliance(s) for any conditions that may render the appliance(s) inefficient or unsafe for use, similar to how you have your automobile checked periodically. All appliances, including gas, should be regula rly inspected and maintained, just as electrical appliances, to eliminate possible hazards from short circuits and other malfunctions that could create hazards.
Some appliances are required to have vents in order to exhaust harmful combustion gases outside. Poisonous carbon monoxide can be produced from improperly installed or operating appliances. Frequent headaches and nausea may be indicators that this colorless, odorless gas is causing carbon monoxide poisoning. To minimize the chance of this happening follow these practices:
Vented appliances must be installed by a qualified appliance installer.
- Do not operate vented appliances until they have been vented properly.
- After appliance installation and before each heating season, the vents and flues should be checked for blockage and corrosion, either by a qualified installer or our service technician.
- If you buy a used appliance, have it inspected and installed by a qualified propane appliance installer.
General Safety Precautions
Here are some general safety procedures to follow when using your propane appliance(s):
Be alert for the odor of propane when around a gas appliance or container.
- If you smell gas, do not try to light the appliance. Call your propane supplier.
- Read and follow the operating and lighting instructions and warning labels provided by the appliance manufacturer.
- The pilot has a safety device. If you have trouble keeping it lit, this device is warning you about a problem. Call us for assistance with this problem.
- Never force any appliance control. If you cannot operate the knobs, switches or buttons by hand, replace the part.
- Keep combustibles, such as curtains, paper, cleaning fluids, etc., away from any energy source, including gas and electric appliances where they may cause a fire.
- Have a B/C rated fire extinguisher readily available. Be sure it is charged and that you and your family know how to use it.
- Gas appliances, like humans, need oxygen (air) to function properly.
- If you smell gas near your tank or cylinder, call us.
- Use only listed propane appliances. Look for the seal from a nationally recognized independent testing laboratory.
- Use gas grills outdoors only. Use or store propane cylinders outdoors only.
If You Run Out of Gas
Letting your propane container run empty creates additional hazards. If you run out of gas and lose pressure in the system, a potentially hazardous condition can result. If you do run out of gas, follow these steps:
- Turn off all control valves on all gas appliances.
- Turn off the shutoff valve on the propane container(s).
- Call us to arrange for delivery, and advise us you are out of gas.
- Don’t turn the gas back on yourself. Let us do it. When you schedule your fill, be sure it is for a time when you are at home, so we can relight and check your appliances and system to assure that they are operating properly and are leak free.
- Immediately after your tank is refilled, have a service technician check to see that all safety controls are functioning properly and the piping system is leak free.
If You Move or Change Gas Appliances
Always call us when you need a gas appliance connected or disconnected. It is for your safety that the gas system remain in a safe condition at all times. Should the gas system develop a leak, a fire, or serious injury could result. Properly operated and maintained, your propane system and appliance(s) can provide you many years of clean-burning, safe, efficient service.