How to detect a propane leak
Gas leaks are one of the risks of using a propane heater, even if it is a rare event. A propane leak can have severe consequences: the carbon monoxide released in large doses can be fatal. Explosion and fire risks are also possible if a heat source is near the leak.
However, careful use and proper maintenance of your gas system can reduce the risk of a leak, but since you cannot always prevent incidents from happening, here are some tips to help you detect a gas leak if you are faced with one.
The smell of rotten eggs: the first warning
Propane gas is a completely odourless, colourless fossil fuel. The pungent odour associated with it is due to an added odorant called ethanethiol (or ethyl mercaptan), a product that artificially recreates the smell of rotten eggs. If you smell this foul odour in your home, you most likely have a propane gas leak.
However, changing your propane cylinders or turning on the appliance may cause this smell to emerge, so it does not necessarily mean that there is a leak in your installation.
What to do in case of a gas leak?
You’ve done your checks, and a propane gas leak is confirmed? Here’s what to do:
- Open the doors and windows to ventilate the room properly.
- Turn off the gas valve immediately.
- Do not touch any electrical device: telephone, flashlight, and switches, to avoid an explosion.
- Evacuate people and animals from the house.
- If you live in an apartment, warn your neighbours to evacuate the building (by the stairs).
- Once you are out of the area, call the fire department and wait for their assistance.
How to avoid a gas leak?
They say it’s better to be safe than sorry. The saying also applies to propane gas leaks! By following basic safety rules, you can entirely avoid incidents with your propane appliance, including gas leaks.
Here are some simple steps to help you:
- Have your gas appliances serviced regularly by a qualified professional.
- Inspect your pipes or fittings with soapy water before turning on the gas supply; if bubbles form, it’s a sign of a leak.
- Change the hoses before the suggested dates.
- Make sure the air vents are in good condition.
- Turn off all power taps if you are not going to be using the unit for a long period of time.
- Install several gas detectors near your appliance to alert you in case of a leak.
We know about propane!
Looking for experienced professionals to service or repair your heating system? Don’t wait for a propane leak to happen! Get in touch with a devoted Propane Levac team member. We will be happy to offer you our best advice to enjoy your propane installation in total safety!