IMPORTANT PROPANE SAFETY GUIDELINES
What is Propane?
Propane (also call LPG-liquefied petroleum gas or LP gas) is a liquid fuel stored under pressure. Propane is a safe, economical, clean-burning and versatile fuel when properly used. In most systems, propane is vaporized to a gas before it leaves the tank or cylinder and then is dispensed through a pressure regulator to yor appliance. Propane vapor disperses readily, as do alL gases. The movement of propane vapor, which is heavier than air, can be influenced by such factors as air currents, relative temperatures, and air flow rates. propane vapor should be treated with the same caution as is applied to other flammable gases. Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignitedby many sources, including open flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks, and static electricity. Severe "freeze burn" or frostbite can result if propane liquid comes in contact with your skin.
Propane plays an important role in our everyday lives. propane is used not only as an efficient energy source for heating and cooking; but also is used extensively in manufacturing and agriculture. To most consumers, propane is an incisible fuel, transported in tanks and underground, ready to use in your home or business. But like all fuels, it must be handled wisely to ensure safety. Propane is a liquid hydrocarbon that vaporizes into a colorless, odorless, highly flammable gas. In properly maintained and operated systems, propane is completely safe. However, it can be extremely dangerous if an uncontrolled release of propane occurs. In order to detect an uncontrolled release of propane, an odorant, usually ethyl mercaptan is added to propane before it is delivered to your home.
Propane is a safe fuel
The propane industry has developed numerous methods to make the transport and use of propane safe:
- Propane equipment and appliances are manufactured to rigorous safety standards.
- Propane has a narrow range of flammability when compared to other pertoleum products.
- If liquid propane leaks, it vaporizes and dissipates into thin air.
- Because it is released from a pressured container as a vapor, propane can't be ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels.
- Because propane is virtually odorless and colorless in its natural state, a commercial odorant is added so propane can be detected if it leaks from its container.
- Propane is not harmful to soil or water
- Propane gas is non toxic and produces minimal emissions
What does Propane smell like?
Propane has a strong, unpleasant odor that smells like rotten eggs, a skunk's spray, or a dead animall. Propane manufacturers add an odorant deliberately to help alert customers to propane leaks.
Can you smell it?
Some people may have difficulty smelling propane due to age (older people have less sensitive sense of smell) a medical condition; or the effects of medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.Propane vapors are heavier than air. For this reason, they may accumulate in low-lying areas such as basements, crawl spaces & ditches, or along floors. A phenomenon called "odor fade" can occur. Odor fade is an unintentional reduction in the concentration of the odor of propane, making it more difficult to smell. Air, water and rust in a propane tank or cylinder may weaken gas odor. Consider purchasing a propane gas detector as an additional measure of security. Be sure the units you purchase are listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) To be sure propane gas detectors operate properly, install & maintain them as the manufacturer recommeds. Never ignore the smell of propane, even if no detector is sounding an alarmto signal the presence of propane. Even if you install gas detectors, have a qualified service technician inspect your propane system and propane appliances periodically.
ALWAYS TAKE ACTION IF YOU SMELL ANY FOUL ODOR!
IF YOU SMELL GAS:
#1 NO FLAMES OR SPARKS! Immediatly put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.
#2 LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATLY! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
#3 SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (Clockwise).
#4 REPORT THE LEAK. From a neighbor's home or other nearby building away from the gas leak, call your propane retailer right away. If you can't reach your propane retailer, call 911 or your local fire department.
#5 DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until your propane retailer determines that it is safe to do so.
#6 GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technicianmust check your entire system to insure that it is leak-free.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMATANCES TRY TO MODIFY OR REPAIR VALVES, REGULATORS, OR OTHER CYLINDER OR APPLIANCE PARTS.
DO NOT OPEN CONTAINER SHUT OFF VALVE!
If this valve is turned off for any reason, the National Fuel Gas Code (NFPA 54) requires a leak check of the system serviced by the container at the time the gas valve is turned back on. The leak test must be conducted by a qualified technician. Do not attemp to open the valve yourself! Failure to follow this warning may result in the ignition of leaking gas, causing serious and potentially fatal injury, fire , or explosion.
CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) AND YOUR SAFETY
WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and toxic gas. When inhaled, CO interferes with the blood's ability to absorb and transport oxygen. High levels of CO can be produced when fuels are burned incompletely. Smoking a cigarette, idlinga gasoline engine, and burning fuel oil, wood, kerosene, natural gas and propane all produce carbon monoxide. High levels of CO can be generated by appliances that are defective or improperly installed or maintained. CO can also enter a home if an appliance venting system or chimney becomes blocked.
CARBON MONOXIDE CAN BE DEADLY!
Exposure to CO causes flu-like symptoms such as headaches,nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, impaired judgement, loss of manual dexterity and even loss of consciosness. In severe cases, CO poisining can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children, people with heart and respiratory conditions, and pets may be particularly sensitive to CO and may feel the effects sooner.
IF YOU SUSPECT CO IS PRESENT, ACT IMMEDIATELY!
If you or a family mambershiws physical symptoms of CO poisining, get everyone out of the building and call 911 or your local fire department.
If it is safe to do so, open windows to allow entry of fresh air, and turn off any appliances you suspect may be releasing the CO.
If no one has physical symptoms of CO poisining, but you suspect that CO is present, call your propane retailer or a qualified technician to check CO levels and your propane equipment.
SOME SIGNS OF IMPROPER APPLIANCE OPERATION THAT CAN GENERATE HIGH CO LEVELS:
Sooting, especially on appliances and vents
Unfamiliar or burning odor
Increased moisture inside of windows
For an extra measure of safety, we recommend that you consider installing a CO detector.
THE DANGERS OF UNCAPPED LINES
Leaks that occur from open lines are extremely dangerous due to the potential for large volume of gas to be released over a short period of time.
All lines not attached to appliances must be closed and terminated with threaded caps or plugs. If you have any questions, please call your propane supplier.