What Propane Smells Like
Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. Some people may have difficulty smelling propane due to their age (older people may have a less sensitive sense of smell); a medical condition; or the effects of medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
On rare occasions, propane can lose its odor. Several things can cause this including:
- The presence of air, water, or rust in a propane tank or cylinder
- The passage of leaking propane through the soil
Since there is a possibility of odor loss or problems with your sense of smell, you should respond immediately to even a faint odor of gas.
What To Do If You Smell Gas
- No flames or sparks! – Immediately 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.
- Leave the area immediately! – Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
- 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).
- 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.
- Do not return to the area or building until your propane retailer, emergency responder, or qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.
- Get your system checked. – Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.
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