Propane is a very safe fuel. But as with any energy source, there are steps you should take to further ensure your safety:
• If you detect a gas leak, immediately evacuate everyone from the house and call your local propane provider or the fire department from a neighbor's telephone.
• Learn what propane smells like. Propane retailers have scratch-and-sniff pamphlets to help your family recognize its distinctive odor.
• Know where gas lines are located, so you won't damage them when digging or working in the yard.
• Change or clean furnace filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer.
• Don't store cleaning fluids, oil-soaked rags, gasoline, or other flammable liquids near a gas-burning appliance where vapors could be ignited by the pilot light. Propane is a very safe fuel. Propane's unique molecular properties make it much safer and cleaner than related petroleum-based energy sources. As with any energy source, there are steps you should take to further ensure your safety.
What is Propane?
What to Do If You Smell Gas
Can You Smell It?
Maintaining Your Propane Appliance
Carbon Monoxide Safety
Lighting Pilot Lights
Running Out of Gas
Using Space Heaters Safely
Small Cylinder Transportation and Storage
Spring/Summer Weather Safety
Winter Storm Preparedness
What is Propane?
•Propane is Clean gas energy. It is widely-used worldwide in over 1,000 different applications.
•It is transported and stored as a very cold liquid, and can cause a "freeze burn" or frostbite if it contacts the skin. The liquid propane changes into a gas when stored under pressure inside a tank or a cylinder.
•In its natural form, propane is colourless and odourless. To make propane easier to detect in the event of a leak or spill, producers add a chemical compound to give propane a distinctive smell.
•Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources, including open flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks, and static electricity.
•Propane vapours are heavier than air. For this reason, they may accumulate in low-lying areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and ditches, or along floors. However, air currents can sometimes carry propane vapours elsewhere within a building.
What should I do if I suspect a Gas Leak?
•Follow these important steps: If You Suspect A Leak.
What happens if I run out of Gas?
•Don't run out of gas. Serious safety hazards, including fire or explosion, can result.
•If an appliance valve or a gas line is left open when the propane supply runs out, a leak could occur when the system is recharged with propane.
•Air and moisture could get into an empty or depleted storage tank, which can cause rust build-up inside the tank. Rust can decrease the concentration of the odour of propane, making it harder to smell.
•If your propane tank runs out of gas, any pilot lights on your appliances will go out. This can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly.
•A leak check is required. We recommend that a qualified service technician must perform a leak check of your propane system before turning on the gas.
What should I do if I suspect a Carbon Monoxide Leak?
•Visit Carbon Monoxide for more information.
What should I do if my Pilot Light goes out?
•It is strongly recommended that a qualified service technician re-light any pilot light that has gone out.
•What is a pilot light? Some propane appliances may have a pilot light - a small, constantly burning flame inside the appliance. (Appliances without a pilot light will have a form of electronic ignition instead.) If your appliance has a pilot light, it is an important safety feature. The pilot light ignites the main burner when needed.
•When a pilot light goes out. A pilot light that repeatedly goes out - or is very difficult to light - may be signaling that there is a problem with the appliance or with your propane system. If this occurs, do not try to fix the problem yourself. Contact Sparling's to have a qualified service technician evaluate the appliance. Accidents and serious injuries can occur when Customers attempt to fix a pilot light problem on their own.
IF YOU LIGHT A PILOT LIGHT YOURSELF, you are taking the risk of STARTING a fire or AN explosion. Many serious injuries occur when people attempt to light pilot lights. Proceed with great caution and follow these rules:
•Carefully follow all of the manufacturer's instructions and warnings concerning the appliance.
•If the appliance is in a basement or closed room, thoroughly ventilate the area before lighting the pilot.
•DO NOT smoke or have any source of ignition (such as flames or spark-producing materials) in the area before lighting the pilot.
•Be especially alert for the smell of propane. Sniff at floor level before lighting a pilot.
•IF YOU SMELL GAS, DO NOT LIGHT THE PILOT LIGHT.
•DO NOT allow any extra or unnecessary people (especially children) to remain in the room or area of the building where you are lighting a pilot.
•DO NOT try to light pilot lights in any area where other odours may make it difficult for you to detect the smell of a propane leak.
•DO NOT light the pilot light if a musty or damp smell persists. These conditions can mask the smell of propane.
•DO NOT apply force or use tools on the pilot light or its control. This could cause damage that leads to gas leakage. Use only tour hands to operate knobs, switches, or buttons.
•DO NOT attempt to let air out of gas lines by opening a valve or fitting inside a building or enclosed space. You may release gas and not be able to smell it.
•DO NOT apply oil to a sticky knob or button on a gas control valve. Oil can cause the control valve mechanism to stick and malfunction.
How can I maintain my appliances?
•Maintenance is important. All appliances using propane must be properly maintained in order to operate safely, properly, and efficiently.
•Leave it to the Experts. Only a qualified service technician has the proper training to install, service, maintain, and repair your appliances. Make sure you have a qualified service technician install and service your appliances.
•Annual inspection is important. Contact Sparling's to have a qualified service technician perform an appliance inspection. Consider the protection of 24PROPLUS available only at Sparling's.
•Be sure your appliances can "breathe" properly. Regularly check the vents of your appliances to be sure that flue gases can flow easily to the outdoors. Insects, birds, and small animals sometimes build nests in vent pipes. Other obstructions such as snow or ice may also occur. If you see evidence of this, call a qualified service technician. Also, clear the area around your appliance to be sure plenty of air can reach the burner for proper combustion.
•Never store combustible materials near appliances.
•Watch for yellow flames or soot bulid-up. When appliances are operating 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, a colourless, odourless, and poisonous gas. Contact Sparling's.
What is an Appliance Connector?
•The final section of the system that brings gas to your appliances is the appliances connector. It is important that all appliance connectors are properly inspected, installed, and maintained by a qualified technician.
How can I maintain my appliance connectors?
•Have connectors checked when moving or replacing appliances. Connectors can wear out from too much moving, bending, or corrosion. Connectors should be checked by a qualified service technician whenever the appliance is replaced or moved from its location.
•Use only approved appliance connectors. Make sure that all connectors and gas piping/tubing that bring propane to your appliances are installed by a qualified technician and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
•Have older appliance connectors inspected. Over time, some types of appliance connectors can crack or break, resulting in a serious gas leak and the possibility of fire or explosion. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has warned that certain types if older connectors are extremely dangerous. If you have an appliance that is more than 20 years old, have a qualified service technician inspect the connectors to be sure they are safe and meet current safety-code requirements.
•Do not move an appliance yourself to check the connector; this might damage the connector and crate a leak.
What should I do if I move or get a New Appliance?
•Treat connectors with care. When an appliance is moved, be careful not to damage the appliance connector (flexible tubing that brings gas to the unit). Older connectors can crack if flexed or twisted, which can lead to a gas leak.
•Is the appliance designed to use propane? Be sure that any new or used appliance being installed is designed for use with propane. Natural gas appliances SHOULD NOT be used with propane unless a qualified service technician has made required adjustments to the appliance.
•Have the appliance checked out before you use it. Be sure that the appliance is properly installed and that all controls and valves operate correctly. Contact a Sparling's qualified service technician for assistance.
•Cap or plug unattached gas lines. If you move a gas appliance and disconnect it from a gas line, be sure to contact Sparling's or a qualified service technician to close, cap, or plug the open gas line. Any connectors or gas line not connected to an appliance can leak gas, or can be damaged if water accumulates inside it. The valve on any unattached gas line must be closed, and the open end must be sealed by installing a threaded cap or plug.
How can I keep my Home Safe when I am away for an Extended Period?
•If you're leaving your home for an extended period, consider closing all propane supply valves. This includes the main gas supply valve on the propane tank as well as gas supply valves located near individual appliances.
•When you return to your home after an extended absence, contact Sparling's or a qualified service technician to conduct a leak check before the propane is turned on and to re-light the pilot lights.
What should I do if I have a problem with my propane appliances or equipment?
•Do not under any circumstances try to modify or repair valves, regulators, connectors, controls, or other appliances and cylinder/tank parts. Doing so creates the risk of a gas leak.
•Call an expert. If you are unable to operate any part of your propane system, or if you think an appliance or other device is not operating properly, call Sparling's. They can inspect, adjust, repair, or replace any part of your propane system.
•Your propane system is designed for safety. Propane cylinders, tanks, and appliances incorporate special components (such as valves, connectors, controls, burners, and pilot lights) to keep them safe for use. Damaging these components can cause gas leaks.
How can I use a Space Heater Safely?
•Use the right kind of heater. Some propane space heaters are designed only for use outdoors. Others are designed only for use indoors. Check your owner's manual or contact Sparling's to be sure you are using the right kind of heater.
•Do not use an outdoor heater indoors. High levels of CO can be generated from heaters that are not designed for indoor use. High levels of CO can make you dizzy, give you headaches, or cause flu-like symptoms. In extreme cases, extended exposure to CO can result in brain damage or death.
•Read your space heater manual. The appliance manufacturer's manual that came with your space heater tells you how to set up and operate it safely. Read the entire manual and carefully.
Propane - A Green Energy.
Propane is a non-toxic, colorless, and odorless gas
produced from natural gas processing and crude oil
refining. Propane is a safe fuel to use in your home or
business environment. Clean, efficient propane has long been recognized as an
environmentally friendly energy. It’s an approved
alternative fuel listed in both the Clean Air Act of 1990
and the National Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Propane provides safe, clean, reliable, efficient and
secure energy. That’s good value for consumers, the environment, and Canada