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What Does Propane Smell Like


What to do if you smell propane gas

Propane gas is a valuable source of energy for many homes and businesses, but it's essential to prioritize safety when using it.  
While propane gas detectors can alert you of leaks, your sense of smell serves as a built-in detector that should always be trusted. As one of the most critical safety measures, knowing what to do if you smell the distinct, unpleasant odor of propane gas is the best safety measure you can take. Let’s discuss the steps you should take if there’s ever an instance where you detect the smell of propane. 
Note: If you’re smelling a rotten egg or skunk-like odor at this time, call 911 and your propane provider immediately. If you’re a Ferrelgas customer, call our emergency contact line at 866-708-8209.

What does propane smell like?

Propane, in its natural state, is completely odorless. It's the addition of ethyl mercaptan, a chemical with a foul odor, that gives the distinct smell associated with household propane. Some describe it as having a skunk-like odor or smelling like rotten eggs. 

How to handle a propane gas leak

If you ever smell propane gas, follow these steps to handle the situation safely: 

  1. Remember to put out any flames or sparks. That includes smoking materials and open flames. You should also avoid operating lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones because flames or sparks from these sources may cause an explosion or start a fire.  
  2. You should leave the area immediately. Be sure to get everyone out of the building or area where you think there might be a gas leak.  
  3. Always shut off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it’s safe to do so. You can close the valve by turning it to the right (clockwise).  
  4. Be sure to report the suspected leak. Call your propane retailer, 911, or your local fire department from a neighbor’s home or another building that is away from the gas leak.  
  5. Never return to the area or building where the leak is until your propane retailer or authorities tell you it is safe to do so. Once you are allowed to return, open the windows and doors to allow any remaining gas to dissipate.  
  6. Be sure to get your system checked before you attempt to use any propane-powered appliances. It’s important that your propane retailer or qualified service technician checks your entire system to be sure it is free of leaks.

How to avoid a propane gas leak

Prevention is always the best strategy when it comes to propane gas safety. Here are some steps to help you avoid a propane gas leak: 

  1. Regular maintenance is key. Ensure that your propane system is well-maintained. Schedule routine checks and inspections with a qualified technician to identify and fix any potential issues. 
  2. Install propane gas detectors. Propane gas detectors can provide an early warning if a leak occurs, helping you take action promptly. 
  3. Educate your family or employees. Make sure everyone in your household or workplace knows where propane gas detectors are, how to identify the smell of a gas leak, and what steps to take in the event of one. 

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when using propane gas, and safety starts with routine maintenance.

When it comes to safety, Ferrellgas is the industry leader. Our company prides itself on its high safety standards. It’s just one more reason to make us your trusted propane provider. Ready to make the switch? It’s as easy as finding a location, giving us a call at 888-337-7355, or starting a chat with us from anywhere on our website.