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Florida Public Utilities
Propane Safety

Safety Basics

How To Sense Danger

While propane is naturally odorless, a ‘rotten egg’ odor is added so you and your family can easily detect even the smallest leak. Teach everyone in your home or business to recognize this ‘rotten egg’ smell and take the following steps should someone suspect a leak:

  1. Clear your home or business immediately.
  2. Once safely outside, call 800.427.7712 to report a leak. (Or dial 911 once safely outside if you sense a more serious emergency)

DO NOT:

  • Use a cell phone or telephone until securely outside the location
  • Smoke, light a match or do anything else that may cause a spark, which could result in an explosion or fire
  • Turn on or off any electric switches
  • Ring the doorbell or open any garage doors

DO:

  • Turn off the gas supply at the tank, but only if you can do so safely

Visual and audible signs may also indicate that a gas leak has occurred. If you notice any of the following, please take the steps outlined above.

  • Blowing dirt, bubbling creeks/ponds or dead vegetation in an otherwise green area. Natural gas is lighter than air whereas propane gas is heavier and settles
  • Hissing sounds near a gas appliance or line

If You Run Out Of Gas

If you run out of propane, be sure and take the following steps:

  • Turn off all the control valves on all of your gas appliances
  • Call FPU at your local propane office to arrange for a delivery and to inform us that you are out of gas
  • Make sure that you are present at the time of the delivery so an FPU Representative can relight your pilot lights and inspect your appliances before double-checking the needed safety controls and piping system

Please Note: FPU is required to perform a leak test before refilling an empty tank to ensure the integrity of your propane piping system. Do not attempt to turn the gas back on yourself; FPU will do so for you.

Important Notice About Your Fuel Lines

FPU maintains the buried gas piping from the main to the meter but does not maintain the customer’s buried gas piping after the meter. Buried piping that you do not properly maintain may be subject to the potential hazards of corrosion and leakage. Buried gas piping should be:

  • Periodically inspected for leaks
  • Periodically inspected for corrosion if the piping is metallic
  • Repaired if any unsafe condition is discovered

Also, when excavating near buried gas piping, the piping needs to be located in advance, and the excavation should be done by hand. Call 811 before you dig and we will be there within a few business days to locate your lines at no charge to you.

Energy Theft

Energy theft is the tampering of natural gas or propane meters with the intent to avoid paying for energy. It is a dangerous and illegal act that can result in:

  • Fire and numerous other threats to public safety
  • Severe bodily injury, including burns
  • Severe legal ramifications, including large fines and possible imprisonment

If you suspect someone is tampering with a natural gas or propane meter, please contact FPU immediately. Your call can be confidential.

Water Damage

If flooding is predicted for your area, turn off the gas valve at the cylinder or tank before the water rises. Do not turn the gas back on until the gas system and all appliances have been checked by a qualified service technician.

Visual Damage

If your tank has shifted position, gas lines are bent, broken, or damaged, or you see something unusual about your system or appliance, turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it is safe to do so. Contact your propane retailer or a qualified service technician to have your gas system checked immediately.

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