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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 your local FPU office to report a leak. (Or dial 911 once safely outside if you sense a more serious emergency)
  3. Do not re-enter your home or business until an emergency responder or an FPU qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so


  • 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


  • 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. Please leave the area and contact us immediately if you recognize the following signs of a potential gas leak or other safety hazard:

  • You see blowing dirt or bubbling creeks or ponds
  • You notice dead vegetation in an otherwise green area
  • There are hissing sounds near a gas appliance or line
  • A gas line has been broken or damaged
  • You smell a distinct ‘rotten egg’ odor

If You Run Out Of Gas

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

  • Turn off your propane gas (single tanks/cylinders only) by turning the valve to the right (clockwise)
  • Call FPU to arrange for a delivery and inform us you are out of gas
  • Make sure you are present at the time of the delivery so an FPU Representative can relight your pilot lights and inspect your appliances to ensure safety controls and piping

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.

Gas Characteristics

Propane, also called LPG-liquefied petroleum gas, is a liquid fuel stored under pressure. Propane is heavier than air and settles, whereas natural gas is lighter than air and rises. If a leak occurs, vapors will collect near the ground and move into low-laying areas and underground structures in the absence of movement. Severe freezer burn or frostbite can result if propane liquid comes in contact with your skin.

Preventative Safety Measures — Your Fuel Line

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 utility lines at no charge to you. Call FPU to locate your propane service and fuel lines.

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, and you have a single tank/cylinder, turn off the gas valve at the cylinder/tank by turning the valve to the right (clockwise).

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 gas valve at the cylinder/tank by turning the valve to the right (clockwise) if it is safe to do so.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

If your home or business has gas appliances installed, FPU recommends the installation of a CO monitor. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is toxic to humans and animals when encountered in concentrations above approximately 35 ppm. CO is a result of incomplete gas combustion.