Propane Safety

All propane leaks are dangerous. If a customer notifies Sonoita Propane that they hear or smell gas leaking, we advise them to immediately get out of the house. We also advise them to eliminate and prevent all sources of ignition (including the use of matches and the operation of electrical switches) and to evacuate the structure to a safe distance. Once they have everyone outside, they should turn off the service valve(s) on the propane supply container(s). A certified technician should be dispatched to the premises immediately. We advise them not to allow anyone except qualified gas professionals or fire service personnel to enter the building until a complete inspection has determined if there is a leak, and if so, that the leak is repaired.

 

There are three ways to test for a gas leak:
 

1. The Sniff Test
Being heavier than air, leaking propane tends to collect initially in low areas. To check whether there is a leak using the sniff test, get down on your hands and knees and sniff close to the floor to smell for propane. If you smell propane, do NOT light a match. 

 

2. A Bubble Test (Only to be performed by your trained propane service person)
The bubble test enables you to check for leaks by applying a leak detector solution, or thick soapy water, on all connections. The leak detector solution can be obtained from your local propane dealer. Perform this test when installing and filling tanks or cylinders and any time you suspect a leak.

  1. Apply leak detector solution, or thick soapy water, to the connections between the cylinder valve and regulator outlet and/or any other connections you suspect may be leaking.

  2. Slowly open the tank or cylinder valve and watch for bubbles.

  3. If bubbles appear, close the tank or cylinder valve and tighten connections immediately (but do not over tighten).

  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 until the bubbles stop. If you cannot stop the bubbles, contact your dealer for service.

 

3. Propane Gas Detectors
The National Fire Protection Association and federal and state agencies responsible for regulating propane safety acknowledge that odorants added to propane do not provide 100% effective leak detection; on rare occasions a leak may not be detected by smell. Gas detectors, listed by the Underwriter Laboratories (UL) and others, can be used as an extra measure of safety for detecting leaks. Detectors that sound a loud alarm are now on the market at a reasonable price. In the event that a leak occurs while you are asleep, the alarm may assist you in becoming aware of the leak.