Your local propane company makes a sincere commitment to training so 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.
While propane is a remarkably safe fuel, it’s important that appliances stay properly maintained. This ensures safe and efficient operation. Besides making sure you get a professional evaluation of your appliances done on a regular basis, there are a number of safety tips you should follow on your own.
With that in mind, the Propane Education and Research Council provides these four important tips for the safe use of your appliances.
- 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, be careful not to damage the gas connector. Older connectors can easily crack if twisted, which can lead to a gas leak. For the sake of safety, if you want to reposition your appliances, it’s best to talk with your propane company first.
- Regularly check the outdoor vents of your appliances to make sure combustion gases flow unobstructed to the outdoors. Sometimes, insects, birds, and small animals 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.
- Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. 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.