Learn All About Propane Gas Safety

Learn How ToBe Safe And Secure

While propane is a very safe and reliable heat source, like all gas, if it leaks, it can cause injury, death, and property damage. As your propane provider, we take your safety seriously. Therefore, we are sending you this letter to remind you of safety procedures you must follow to ensure that you and your family are safe when using propane. You and your family must read this letter and the attached brochure entitled “Important Propane Safety Information.” Keep it nearby and periodically reread it. Failure to follow the safety precautions in this letter and this brochure could result in a gas explosion and fire or death by asphyxiation from carbon monoxide (CO) produced from appliances which are not operating or vented properly.

Below are several precautions that are in the brochure that we want to highlight:

 IMMEDIATELY put out all smoking materials and other open flames; – DO NOT operate lights, appliances, thermostats, garage door openers, telephones or cell phones; – IMMEDIATELY get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas to be; – TURN OFF the main gas supply valve on your propane tank(s) if it is safe to do so, by turning the shutoff valve to the right (clockwise); – CALL your propane retailer from a neighbor’s home or other nearby building or use your cell phone from a safe location outside the premises and away from the gas leak area; – CALL 911 or your local fire department if you can’t reach your propane retailer; – DO NOT re-enter the building or area until your propane retailer or safety personnel tell you it is safe; – BEFORE you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire gas piping system to ensure that it is leak-free.

To prevent this, do the following: – Everyone in your family should scratch and sniff the blue circle on the attached brochure.  Learn what propane smells like.  – Buy, install and maintain at least one propane detector per manufacturer’s instructions, which is designed to alarm when gas has leaked.  This is because there are some situations where you may not be able to smell propane. If alarm goes off, take the same precautions as if you smell gas.  • Exposure to Carbon Monoxide (CO) can cause injury or death. To prevent this, do the following: – Buy, install and maintain a Carbon Monoxide detector per manufacturer’s instructions, which is designed to alarm when CO is detected. This is because you typically cannot taste or smell CO, which is produced from appliances that are not operating properly. – Everyone in your home should be aware of the symptoms of CO, including headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea. – If you or a family member shows physical symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the building and call 911 or your local fire department. 

• DO NOT try to repair, modify or alter your propane piping system or connected appliances. Only allow qualified personnel to work on it.    

Safety hazards, including fire or explosion can result. DO NOT attempt to relight any pilot lights. If a pilot light has gone out there may be a safety problem. – If you have run out of propane or your service has been interrupted, call us immediately using the designated numbers for propane emergencies (see map below) so that we can come out and inspect your gas piping and check for leaks. Arrangements then can be made to relight the pilot lights by a qualified technician. Be prepared to give your name, address, phone number, where you can be reached, and details about the situation. – If you have run out of gas, you need to do the following:  Close the service valve on your propane tank.  Shut off all gas valves for appliances that use propane.

It is the policy of South Florida Gas Co to follow the guidelines prepared by the National Fuel Gas Code and National Propane Gas Association. An out of gas situation or interruption of gas supply creates a potentially dangerous circumstance. The following steps must be taken to ensure both the safety of the customer and delivery person. All credit approved propane accounts are established on a Scheduled Delivery basis and will be on a regular delivery route. All accounts must be kept within the 30-day credit policy or propane will not be delivered until the account is paid in full. Failure to do so will result in an additional trip charge of $95.00 during regular business hours. “Out of Gas” situations will require a leak check and ‘will call’ or past due accounts will be assessed $35.00 for leak checks. After hours deliveries to ‘will-call’ or past due accounts will result in an additional charge of $125. South Florida Gas Co will dispatch a trained propane specialist to inspect the situation in the event of a suspected leak or interruption in service. If you are out of propane, additional guidelines will apply. a. If you are on a scheduled delivery basis and your account is in good standing, South Florida Gas Co will deliver propane as soon as possible.

The company thanks you for your business. b. Someone must be present to give the propane specialist access to the inside of the house so he can light the pilot lights. South Florida Gas Co will not deliver propane unless the house is accessible. This is a preventative measure to ensure your safety. Only a trained propane specialist should light the pilot lights. If your propane account is not current or you are not on a scheduled delivery basis, a delivery charge and leak test charge will apply. There may be a minimum delivery amount required for delivery.

Propane tanks are 20 times more puncture resistant that tanks filled with ethanol, methanol or gasoline. They are constructed from carbon steel, under the procedures developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Propane cylinders are equipped with a device that cuts off the filling process, when the tank reached 80 percent of its liquid capacity. This helps pressure inside the tank, caused by temperature to variate, without a gas emitting from the tank.

Propane has the lowest flammability rating of any alternative fuel.

Propane leaks are easy to detect due to the strong pungent smell that imitates the scent of rotten eggs.

Propane will not contaminate water or soil.

Unlike other fuels, like gasoline, propane can not be ingested, due to the fact that it is vaporized internally when released form it’s container. Leaks do not form a puddle; propane dissipates into the air.

In contrast with gasoline’s ignition temperature of 430 to 500 degrees F, propane will not ignite until the air reaches at least 940 degrees F.

Propane leaks smell like rotten eggs. Educate your family so they may recognized the smell.

If you smell a leak, evacuate the premises, and contact your local fire department, or propane supplier. When leaving the premises, do not alter any electrical outlets or light switches.

Propane leak detectors are available at your local hardware stores.

Know the layout of your gas services lines, especially if you are doing any type of landscaping or renovations.

If you suspect your gas appliance has been damaged by water or flooding, have a trained technician come out and service your system.

All furnaces should be cleaned regularly. Check with your propane retailer, and owners manual for cleaning instructions.

In case of sediment buildup in your propane fueled water heater, drain your tank until water runs clean.

Have your range serviced if the flames are not blue. Yellow flames indicate blockage to the air inlets, or an adjustment may be need to the burner. Contact a technician to service. Also, do not line your range with tin foil; it constricts air circulation.

Never use a gas range or grill to heat your home


Never contain grill in an enclosed space. Always use grills outdoors, in a well ventilated area. Do not place grill near leaves, brush, or your home. Always keep the cylinders in an upright position. Never store spare gas containers under or near the grill.

Always follow the owner’s manual, and keep it in a place that is easily accessible.

Close the cylinder valve when it is not in use. Also, make sure all grill controls are in the off position. Never attach or disconnect a cylinder, or alter the cylinder fittings when the grill is in operation or if it is still hot.

Do not cover your grill until all controls are turned off, and the grill has completely cooled down.

Have all cylinders checked for dents, rust or leaks, when you are having it refilled.

Never leave a filled cylinder enclosed in a vehicle. Keep your car well ventilated when transporting cylinders.

Cover disconnected hose-end fittings and burner air intakes with protective fitting caps, when your grill is not in use. These caps keep dirt, moisture and insects out of your equipment. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockage in tubes that lead to the burner. Check grill hoses for deterioration and kinks in the tubing.

Leak-detection solution can be purchased at your local propane gas supplier. Check for leaks, before igniting a grill burner. Also, check connections for tightness. Never use matches or lighters to check for leaks. Immediately turn off the gas and do not ignite, if you detect the pungent smell of propane gas.

In case of an uncontrollable fire, call your local fire department immediately.

Please refrain from smoking while handling your propane cylinder.

Never allow children to tamper or play with your gas grill.

Do not store where cylinder would be exposed to high temperature. Move gas hoses far away from possible dripping hot grease.

Check your owners manual if you have problems getting your grill to work. If you can not troubleshoot the problem, it is best to contact your local propane retailer.

Call a certified technician if the burner flame is not blue. Yellow flames indicate that air inlets are obstructed or burners need to be adjusted.

Keep pot handles turned inward, to avoid accidental spills, and to keep out of the reach of small children.

Keep the grill and range surface clean and free of corrosion.

Never cover the bottom with foil. The foil will restrict air circulation.

Never use your grill as a space heater.

Never leave cooking food unattended.

Keep flammable material away from grill or burners.

To determine how much propane is needed during an emergency, consumers need to know what appliances or equipment they are fueling and the BTU rating for each item. Appliance BTU ratings can be found on the appliance or in the owner’s manual. The rating is the number of BTUs that are consumed by the appliance during a one-hour time period. A typical 20-pound barbecue grill cylinder contains about 430,960 BTUs, so calculating usage is relatively easy. Here are some examples:

40,000 BTU rating: The cylinder should fuel this appliance on a high setting for over 10 hours of continuous use.

60,000 BTU rating: The cylinder should fuel this appliance on a high setting for over seven hours of continuous use.

Most cooking is done by starting on high and preheating the grill, and then turning the burner to medium or low for cooking, which will affect usage time.

Properly secure the propane tank, if possible.

Never bring a propane tank indoors.

Turn off the gas supply valve at the tank.

Fasten the protective dome on the tank.

Turn off appliance pilot lights, control valves and manual shutoff valves.

Ensure an adequate supply of fuel is in the tank

Propane consumers returning to their homes and businesses after a hurricane should be on the alert for the following conditions and contact their propane dealer or qualified technician for repairs:

Visible structural tank damage; including external appliance venting and vent caps.

Propane tanks that have shifted or moved.

Broken, bent or otherwise damaged gas lines.

Appliance controls or appliances that have been exposed to water.

Tank regulators that have been exposed to water.

Never attempt to make repairs yourself or to use appliances or equipment if any of these conditions exist.

Have any appliances or equipment damaged or exposed to water inspected by a licensed gas supplier or technician prior to use.

Do not use any type of equipment fueled by gasoline, propane or other fuel indoors as they may produce hazardous carbon monoxide.

If you did not turn off the gas tank prior to evacuation, do so before turning on any electrical service or attempting to use any device that may generate sparks or flames.

If you smell gas, evacuate the area and call your propane supplier and/or emergency responders immediately.