Propane Safety FAQ

Heat your home and business. Cook your meals. Dry your clothes. Heat your water, pools and spas. Propane is one of the hardest-working energy sources on the market today. Not to mention cost-effective, clean burning, safe and reliable.

But like any energy source, propane must be handled with care.

Superior Propane has compiled some frequently asked questions to help you keep your home, business, families and communities comfortable and safe.

Q: If propane is colourless and odourless, how do I tell if it’s in the air?

A: To make it easier to detect a leak, propane has an odour additive (ethyl mercaptan), which smells like rotten eggs or boiling cabbage. Propane is heavier than air, so when checking for leaks, be aware that it gathers in low-lying areas.

Q: If I smell propane, what should I do?

A: Treat all propane gas odours seriously. Any odours may indicate a dangerous situation. If you think you smell propane in or around your home, immediately:

  • Get everyone out of the building.
  • Extinguish all smoking materials and open flames.
  • Do not touch electrical switches, light matches or create any other source of ignition, including using electrical switches, flashlights, phones or cell phones.
  • Locate all propane equipment and turn off the propane supply. Here's how:

Meter: Give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that the lever is crosswise to the pipe
Tank or cylinder: Turn the hand wheel clockwise (to the right) as far as possible
Propane appliance: Close the shut-off valve

Call the fire department or dial 911 from a neighbour or on your cell phone once everyone has safely left the property.

Do not re-enter the area until it is safe.

Call Superior Propane at 1-87SUPERIOR (1-877-873-7467) to schedule a service call to repair the leak once the area has been deemed safe. We will turn on the propane, check all the propane appliances and re-light the pilots on the appliances for you.

If you have concerns about your ability to smell propane, you may want to consider purchasing propane and carbon monoxide detectors. These are a cost effective way to enhance safety and ensure any escaped gases are detected. However, while detectors may provide an extra measure of warning, they should never be relied upon as a substitute for regular inspection and maintenance of propane appliances.

Q: Can I shut off my propane supply in an emergency?

A: Yes. If it’s necessary to turn off your propane supply before Superior Propane or the fire department arrives, you should know the proper procedure.

Meter: Give the valve at the meter a quarter turn in either direction so that the lever is crosswise to the pipe to turn it off.
Tank or cylinder: Turn the hand wheel clockwise (to the right) as far as possible to make sure the valve is completely closed.
Propane appliance: Close the shut-off valve.

If you are not sure how to shut off the gas supply from your meter, tank or cylinder, contact Superior Propane for instructions. A Service Technician or Driver can show you how to turn the propane supply off at your next scheduled delivery or service inspection.

Q: Can I turn the meter on again?

A: No. Please leave this to a Guardian safety certified expert. Once the propane is shut off, a qualified Superior Propane Service Representative will check out the appliances and venting and turn it back on for you.

Q: Can I turn the tank or cylinder on again?

A: No. Please do not turn the tank or cylinder back on. Leave it to our qualified Service Representatives to check out your propane system to ensure it’s safe.

Q: What safety tips do I need to know if I’m served by a propane meter or tank?

  • Know the location of your propane meter and/or tank.
  • Keep your tank and meter clear for emergency responses.
  • Know how to shut off your propane supply.
  • Keep a wrench in a convenient location if you have a meter.
  • Do not enclose your meter or tank.
  • Do not tie pets or other objects to the meter or any outside propane pipes.

Q: Do I ever need to repaint my tank?

A: Yes. Rusty, unpainted or dark-coloured tanks do not reflect sunlight and may absorb heat causing an increase in pressure, leading to a possible discharge from the pressure release valve.

Q: Is there anything I should do before doing major landscaping projects?

A: Yes – call before you dig. If underground pipes bring propane to your house, be sure to call Superior Propane when making an addition to your home, doing major landscaping or installing fence posts.