Propane FAQ

What are the properties of propane?

  • Liquefied petroleum gas, known as LPG or propane, is a clean-burning, safe, environmentally friendly fuel with many different uses.
  • Propane is heavier than air and in its natural state is an odorless, colorless gas. A chemical odorant is added to propane to give it a distinctive smell (similar to sulfur or rotten eggs) so the presence of propane can be detected.
  • Propane is a convenient, versatile, and economical fuel with many uses such as home heating, cooking, vehicles, farm equipment, forklifts, and much more.
  • Propane weighs 4.2 lbs. per gallon.

How is Propane cost effective, economical, and portable?

As a heating source, propane costs only around half as much as electricity per BTU. Propane is very energy-efficient as a fuel and burns at up to 97% efficiency rating, meaning that very little energy is wasted. Because it is so portable and can be transported and stored in tanks and cylinders just about anywhere, it can be used to provide a good source of fuel in many places where other types of natural gas are not available.

What are some of the most common uses of propane?

  • Home heating
  • BBQ grills, smokers, fish fryers
  • Cooking
  • Air conditioning
  • Water Heating
  • Swimming Pool Heating
  • Clothes drying
  • RV Heating, Cooking, Water Heating
  • Fireplaces
  • Food Refrigeration
  • Construction Heat
  • Industrial Process Heating
  • Vehicle Fuel
  • Weed burning
  • Forklift Fuel
  • Flame Cutting
  • Grain Drying
  • Poultry Brooding
  • Irrigation Fuel
  • Fruit ripening
  • Generator Fuel
  • Hot Air Balloon Fuel

How can I identify a propane leak?

Always be sensitive to the slightest gas smell. If you smell propane, no matter how strong or weak the smell, treat it as a serious gas leak. Some warning signs that may indicate a gas leak has occurred are:

  • When the smell of gas lasts more than an instant after igniting stovetop burners.
  • When the presence of a foul odor persists and you cannot find the reason.

  • When you hear a hissing noise near a gas appliance, piping, or storage tanks and cylinders.

What does propane smell like?

Because propane gas in its natural state is both colorless and odorless, a distinctive odorant (ethyl mercaptan) is added for the purpose of detecting its presence. To become familiar with the smell of propane (similar to sulfur, or rotten eggs), feel free to contact us for a scratch and sniff brochure. Click here to email us.

Is it possible to not smell a leak?

Yes. Under some of the following conditions, you may not smell a gas leak, so we recommend you install a gas detector in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Some people (especially the elderly) are unable to detect the smell of gas.

  • Colds, allergies, sinus congestion, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, may diminish your sense of smell.

  • Cooking odors or other strong odors can cover up the smell of gas.

  • On rare occasions, propane gas may lose its distinctive odor, this is called ‘odor fade.’ Air, water, and rust in a propane tank or cylinder may weaken the gas odor, especially if the valves were left open after the container has been emptied.

  • Sometimes propane gas can lose its odor if a leak occurs underground.

What should I do if there is a leak?

Take the situation very seriously. If you smell gas in your house, RV, workplace, or around any gas equipment or appliance you should:

  • Put out all smoking materials and other open flames immediately.
  • Any spark or flame in the area where propane gas is present may ignite the gas. This could include the spark of a light switch, telephone, fan, or refrigerator motor, and even static electricity from walking across a room or flame from a burner, pilot light or cigarette lighter.
  • Do NOT operate electric switches.
  • Do NOT light matches.
  • Do NOT use your phone.


  • Immediately get everyone out of the building, vehicle, camper, or area.
  • Close all supply valves on gas tank or cylinder.

  • Use your neighbor’s phone to call a trained propane service person and the fire department.
  • Do NOT re-enter the building, vehicle, camper, or area until a trained service person or the fire department advises it is safe to return.
  • Let the trained propane service person or firefighters check for escaped gas. Have them air out the area before you return.

  • Have the trained propane service person:
    • Repair the leak.
    • Pressure check the system.
    • Turn on the gas.
    • Check all the gas appliances.
    • Re-light the pilots on the appliances.

  • Re-enter the area only when the trained service person or firefighters say it is safe.

Does Global Propane have a safety program?

Absolutely.

Here at Global Propane we strive to provide the best possible energy service to our customers. Because we feel that safety is ‘Number 1’, we have established a safety program to help educate and distribute important safety information about propane to each of our customers. Each safety mailing includes a safety pamphlet ‘Propane Users Safety Guide’ and a copy of our Out-of-Gas Policy. The safety guide has a scratch and sniff area inside, so that all members of the family can become familiar with and be able to detect the smell of propane. Also, the back of our propane delivery tickets contains additional safety information. In addition, we do periodic pressure and leak tests on all of our tanks to ensure they are maintained and in good working order.