North Shore Oil & Propane
Propane Safety - What if I Smell Gas?

If you smell gas, you may  have a leak or an outage situation.  All reports of outages, for safety reasons, are assumed to be caused by leaks until proven otherwise by proper leak tests and inspection.


  1. NO FLAMES OR SPARKS! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.
  2. LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
  3. SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
  4. REPORT THE LEAK. From a neighbor's home or other nearby building away from the gas leak, call NSOP right away. If you can't reach us quickly, call 911 or your local fire department.
  5. DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until NSOP employees or emergency personnel determine that it is safe to do so.
  6. GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.

Are you sure you can smell it?

Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk's spray, or a dead animal. Some people may have difficulty smelling propane due to their age (older people and smokers may have a less sensitive sense of smell); a medical condition; or the effects of medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Consider purchasing a propane gas detector as an additional measure of security.

Oderant Fade is an unintended reduction in the concentration of the ordorant chemical that is added to propane.  It is a condition that makes it more difficult to smell. Although infrequent, a couple situations that can cause odorant fade include:

  • The presence of air, water, or rust in a propane tank or cylinder
  • The filtering of leaking propane through the soil

Since there is a possibility of odor fade or problems with your sense of smell, you should respond immediately to even a faint odor of gas.

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