Propane is an extremely safe fuel, providing warmth and comfort in thousands of homes across Missouri. However, like any important piece of equipment, you should pay attention to the operation of your gas appliances and make sure a proper maintenance schedule is always followed. Please consult your owner’s manuals for what’s required.
Having your appliances checked on a regular basis ensures safe and efficient operation. Besides making sure you get a professional evaluation of your appliances done, there are a number of safety tips you can follow on your own.
Here are just four, courtesy of the Propane Education and Research Council:
- Propane smells like rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray. Propane manufacturers add this smell to help alert customers to propane leaks. If you have someone living in your household with a diminished sense of smell (elderly relative, etc.), consider purchasing a propane gas detector as an additional measure of security.
- When appliances operate properly, propane burns with a blue flame. If you see yellow flames–or notice significant amounts of soot on any equipment–the gas may not be burning completely. This can create carbon monoxide. Contact your propane company for service if you notice a yellow flame or soot on your appliances.
- If you need to move an appliance, contact your propane supplier or a trained professional to do this work. This is not a do-it-yourself task since you may inadvertently damage the gas connector. Older connectors can easily crack if twisted, which can lead to a gas leak, and any time you disconnect and then re-connect an appliance, you must perform a leak-test to ensure that the fittings are secure. For the sake of safety, if you are renovating or otherwise need to move your gas appliances, talk with your fuel supplier first.
- Regularly check the outdoor vents of your appliances to make sure combustion gases flow unobstructed to the outdoors. Insects, birds, and small animals have been known to build nests in vent pipes. Snow and ice can also cause obstructions. Use a broom (not a shovel) to remove any obstructions so you don’t cause any damage.
Lastly, keep in mind that your professional propane company is strongly committed to training. This ensures that their employees know precisely how to deliver your fuel safely—and know what to do in case of a leak or other emergency. Many companies also have a well-trained force of certified propane technicians who have years of experience inspecting and servicing all types of propane appliances.
If you have any questions or concerns about your propane appliances, please contact your local propane company and they will be glad to help.
Read more propane safety tips.