Gas Smell in
Problem: Natural gas or
propane gas smell is detected in home, or in particular
area of appliances.
Background: An odorant is added to natural gas and propane
gas to alert people of its presence. Gas build-up can be
extremely dangerous and should be taken very seriously.
Gas leaks, which can result from a number of causes, can
produce tremendous explosions, so it is wise to be overly
What to do: If you smell a
strong gas odor upon returning to your home, do not enter.
Call for help from a neighbor’s phone. If you smell gas
within any area of your home, do not try to light any
appliance. If faint gas odor is detected, put out any
smoking materials, don’t turn on any light switches, don’t
use any phone in the home. Shut off any valves to
appliances suspected of leaking the gas, then call a
technician. However, if you are in doubt or if the gas
odor is strong, leave the home immediately, call your gas
supplier from a neighbor’s phone, and follow their
instructions. If you can’t reach the gas supplier, call
the fire department or 911.
Special advice: Liquid propane
(LP) gas is heavier than air. If there is a leak in a
propane system, the gas will settle near the floor.
Basements, crawl spaces, skirted areas under mobile homes
(even when ventilated), closets, and areas below ground
level, can serve as pockets for accumulated gas. Before at
tempting to light or relight a pilot light, or turning on
a nearby electrical switch, be absolutely sure there is no
accumulated propane gas in the area by sniffing at floor
level in the vicinity of any appliance.
hint: Be especially cautious about gas leaks
whenever new gas appliances have been installed. Check all
gas pipes and fittings for leaks with a soapy water
solution. Before lighting any newly installed appliance,
factory fittings on appliances should be checked by a