What is propane?
Propane (also called LPG—liquefied petroleum gas—or LP gas) is a widely used fuel. It is transported and stored as a very cold liquid, and can cause a “freeze burn” or frostbite if it contacts the skin. The liquid propane is turned into a gas inside a tank or a cylinder. In its natural form, propane is colorless and odorless. To make propane easier to detect in the event of a leak or spill, manufacturers deliberately add a chemical compound to give it a distinctive smell.
Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources, including open flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks, and static electricity.
Propane vapors are heavier than air. For this reason, they may accumulate in low-lying areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and ditches, or along floors. However, air currents can sometimes carry propane vapors elsewhere within a building.
How does propane get to your house?
What is flammable vapor ignition?
FLAMMABLE VAPORS ARE A SERIOUS SAFETY HAZARD!
TO HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF FLAMMABLE VAPOR IGNITION:
PROPANE VAPORS CAN BE DANGEROUS. Propane vapor is also combustible and can ignite explosively. Keep propane storage containers closed. Never store propane cylinders in an enclosed area, or near a heat or ignition source.
What is odor loss?
ODOR LOSS ALSO CAN DIMINISH PROPANE’S SMELL.
Odor Loss. On rare occasions, propane can lose its odor. Several things can cause this including:
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 ARE CONCERNED that you or others in your home may have difficulty smelling propane, consider buying one or more propane gas detectors.
CONSIDER INSTALLING GAS DETECTORS.
DETECTOR QUALITY IS IMPORTANT.
Be sure the units you buy are listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). To be sure propane gas detectors operate properly, install and maintain them as the manufacturer recommends.
TRUST YOUR NOSE.
Never ignore the smell of propane, even if no detector is sounding an alarm to signal the presence of propane. However, if a detector is sounding an alarm, treat it as an emergency and act immediately, even if you do not smell the propane.
CHECK YOUR PROPANE SYSTEM.
Even if you install gas detectors, have a qualified service technician inspect your propane system and propane appliances periodically.
WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and toxic gas. Smoking a cigarette; idling a gasoline engine; and burning fuel oil, wood, kerosene, natural gas, and propane all produce CO. High levels of CO can be produced when fuels are burned incompletely.
WHERE DO HIGH LEVELS OF CO COME FROM?
High levels of CO can be generated by appliances that are defective or improperly installed or maintained. CO can also enter a home if an appliance venting system or chimney becomes blocked (for example, by a bird’s nest).
CO CAN BE DEADLY!
High levels of CO can make you dizzy, give you headaches, or cause flu-like symptoms (see the list below). In extreme cases, high levels of or extended exposure to CO can result in brain damage or death. Young children; the elderly; people with heart disease; and those under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication are particularly susceptible to CO poisoning.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include:
CO DETECTORS CAN IMPROVE SAFETY.
CO detectors are designed to sound an alarm when they sense excessive levels of CO in the air. We recommend that you consider installing a CO detector listed by UL on each level of your home. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance. These devices can provide an extra measure of safety. IF YOU SUSPECT CO IS PRESENT, ACT IMMEDIATELY!
TO HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF CO POISONING:
SIGNS OF IMPROPER APPLIANCE OPERATION THAT CAN GENERATE HIGH CO LEVELS:
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