Propane Safety


Please take a few minutes to watch/read through the safety section and share this info with your family and friends at home or work. If you would like a brochure on Propane sent to your home to have on hand, please contact us.

Essential Propane Safety for High-Snow Fall areas 


Propane Safety - Can you smell it? 

Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. Some people may have difficulty smelling propane due to their age (older people may have a less sensitive sense of smell); a medical condition; or the effects of medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. 

On rare occasions, propane can lose its odor. Several things can cause this including:

  • The presence of air, water, or rust in a propane tank or cylinder
  • The passage of leaking propane through the soil

Since there is a possibility of odor loss or problems with your sense of smell, you should respond immediately to even a faint odor of gas.  If you smell gas: 

  • NO FLAMES OR SPARKS! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.
  • LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
  • SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
  • REPORT THE LEAK. From a neighbor’s home or other building away from the gas leak, call your local fire department or dial 911 or your local fire department, then call Bourne's Energy at 1-800-326-8763.
  • DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until your local fire department and a Bourne's Energy technician has determine that it is safe to do so.
  • GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.

Propane Gas Detectors

Under some circumstances, you may not smell a propane leak. Propane gas detectors sound an alarm if they sense propane in the air. They can provide an additional measure of security. You should consider the purchase of one or more detectors for your home. 

Guidelines regarding propane gas detectors: 

  • Buy only units that are listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). 
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation and maintenance.
  • Never ignore the smell of propane, even if no detector is sounding an alarm. 

Appliance Maintenance

LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS. Only a qualified service technician has the training to install, inspect, service, maintain, and repair your appliances. Have your appliances and propane system inspected just before the start of each heating season.

DO NOT TRY TO MODIFY OR REPAIR valves, regulators, connectors, controls, or other appliance and cylinder/tank parts. Doing so creates the risk of a gas leak that can result in property damage, serious injury, or death. 


Running out of Gas 

DON’T RUN OUT OF GAS. serious safety hazards, including fire or explosion, can result .  If an appliance valve or a gas line is left open, a leak could occur when the system is recharged with propane. If your propane tank runs out of gas, any pilot lights on your appliances will go out. This can be extremely dangerous.  

A LEAK CHECK IS REQUIRED. In many states, a propane retailer or a qualified service technician must perform a leak check of your propane system before turning on the gas. 


Lighting Pilot Lights 

IF A PILOT LIGHT REPEATEDLY GOES OUT or is very difficult to light, there may be a safety problem. DO NOT try to fix the problem yourself. It is strongly recommended that only a Bourne's Energy QUALIFIED SERVICE TECHNICIAN light any pilot light that has gone out. you are taking the risk of starting a fire or an explosion if you light a pilot light yourself. Carefully follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings concerning the appliance before attempting to light the pilot.