Propane Safety Tips

Here at Patterson Fuels, we take pride in keeping your homes and businesses well protected. You should have received a propane safety mailing in the last couple of weeks. This safety mailing is sent to all our active propane customers every year and covers the basics of propane safety. In this blog we want to recap on some of those safety tips and talk more about how you can potentially identify a propane leak and safety handle it. 


  • Safety Tip Number 1: Keep your tank free and clear of clutter

It is important to keep leaves, branches, and other debris/objects away from your propane tank. Some examples of keeping your tank clear of clutter include: making sure the leaves aren’t piling up on or against your propane tank in the fall and keeping your grass clippings away from the tank in the spring and summer. Bonus Tip! Make sure to keep the area around your propane appliances free and clear of clutter as well. Remember never to store flammable liquids or materials near your tank or appliances. 


  • Safety Tip Number 2: Know how to detect a possible propane leak

Propane has a foul odor that has been compared to rotten eggs, garbage, sewage, a skunks spray, and a dead animal. Propane is flammable so it is very important that if you suspect a leak you do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or any other item that can cause a spark. Once you have made it outside, turn off your propane tank if it is safe to do so. To turn off your propane tank gently lift the metal cover to expose the gauge and knob. Turn the knob to the right in a clockwise direction until it stops turning. If you have more than one tank then it is important to turn off all your propane tanks if it is safe to do so. It is important to call your propane provider and report the possible leak. Your propane provider will come out ASAP for you and check your system for leaks. 

Here is a video from showing how to turn off your tank. 


  • Safety Tip Number 3: Install and maintain your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

In 2005, Vermont enacted a law that carbon monoxide detectors must be installed for all buildings where people sleep. Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas. The only way to tell that it is present is to have a working CO alarm. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue. If you believe you have carbon monoxide in your home it is important that you immediately get outdoors to fresh air and call 911.

  • To help reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning it is important to do the following: 
  • Have a qualified professional check your propane appliances and heating systems every year. 
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home.
  • Never use a gas oven or range to heat your home. 
  • Never use portable heaters to heat your home indoors unless they are approved for indoor use. 
  • Never use a barbecue grill tank indoors for cooking or heating. 
  • Regularly check your appliance exhaust vents for blockages. 

 For your safety and convenience, Patterson Fuels sells and will install carbon monoxide gas detectors. 


  • Safety Tip Number 4: Pay attention to your pilot lights 

 Your propane heating system may have a pilot light. A pilot light is a small flame that burns constantly. It is important to keep an eye on your pilot light and make sure that it stays lit constantly. If your pilot light regularly goes out that can be an indication that there is something wrong with your heating system. If you find your pilot goes out regularly it is best to call the service department and have a qualified technician come out to check the system. 


  • Safety Tip Number 5: Stay safe with automatic delivery 

 Automatic delivery is another great way to stay safe when using propane. When you run out of propane you are exposing yourself to a potential leak and opening the door for other problems. If you were to run out of propane and a leak occurred, air and moisture can infiltrate the lines and tank. This can cause rust and create other problems with your tank and lines. If you notice your propane tank is 30% or below it is important to call and request a delivery. 


We here at Patterson Fuels are here to help. If you have any questions regarding your propane safety please call us at 802-434-2616.


Stay safe and stay warm!