Do you know what propane smells like? If you or someone in your family thinks they small gas, do you know what to do next?

Although propane has many safety features and is considered a safe fuel, it’s important to recognize and know what to do in case of an emergency.

Manufacturers deliberately add a pungent odor — similar to rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal — to help homeowners determine when there is a leak in their propane system. If you smell gas, inside or outside of your home, immediately take these steps:

  1. Extinguish flames and sparks. Put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Avoid using anything that can create a spark or electrical charge such as lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones that can ignite an explosion or a fire.
  2. Leave the area. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
  3. Shut off the gas. If it is safe to do so, turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise). If you have more than one tank, turn them all off.
  4. Report the leak. Call your propane supplier right away — from a neighbor’s home or nearby building — and if you can’t reach them, call 911 or your local fire department.
  5. Do not return to the building or area. Wait until your propane supplier, an emergency responder, or a qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.
  6. Get your system checked. Have your propane supplier or qualified service technician check your entire system before attempting to use any of your propane appliances.

If you smell gas, or show signs of having a leak, exit the premises immediately. Call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance. All gas leaks should be taken seriously!

Common signs something is wrong:

Something smells...
If your nose picks up the smell of rotten eggs, you have a propane leak somewhere in your system.
Yellow or Irregular Flames
Propane flames should always be blue. Irregular or yellow flames indicate the propane is not burning properly and your system could be releasing carbon monoxide.
Soot Buildup
Propane is a clean burning fuel, so if there is a buildup of soot, that is a clear indicator that something is wrong with your system. The propane is not burning properly, which can cause a release of carbon monoxide.

Propane Safety Videos

Visit the Propane Education & Research Council website for more helpful information