Propane, also known as LP (liquefied petroleum), is a liquid fuel stored under pressure. In most systems, propane is vaporized to a gas before it leaves the tank. Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or even like a dead animal. Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources. If it comes in contact with your skin, severe freeze burn or frostbite may occur.

If you smell gas:

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 fire.

LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.

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).

REPORT THE LEAK! From a location other than near the leak, call your propane supplier. Only if you are unable to reach your propane supplier should you call 911 or your local fire department.

DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until your propane supplier, emergency responder, or qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.

GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Before your attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane supplier or qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free. Pressure checks and leak tests, are completed to ensure that there are no leaks within the fuel distribution system. Government regulations as well as insurance companies require that in certain situations leak tests be required. At time of the check, the technician must be able to access the home to complete all steps during the system check.

The following situations are examples for when a pressure check or leak test may have to be performed:

  • New system installation
  • New customer set-up
  • System interruptions from repair work, modifications, additions or a shut off
  • Out-of-gas situations
  • Suspected leak
  • Installation of new appliances

The following will be completed during a system check:

  • Inspection of piping;
  • Inspection of shut off valves for each appliance (a shut off valve is required within six feet of each gas appliance);
  • Inspection of sediment traps (appliances such as ranges, clothes dryers, and decorative vented appliances-outdoor grills are not required to have sediment traps);
  • Inspection and testing of regulators; and
  • Inspection of the tank or cylinder.

Any distribution system found unsafe or that does not meet code will be RED TAGGED and cannot be put back into service until the unsafe condition or code violation has been repaired or corrected. Only a qualified technician can complete the necessary repairs and deem the system in safe working order. The government regulates how propane is distributed and tested. To view a complete listing of standards set by the government that American River Gas Co., Inc. follows, please click here.

For safety and ease of delivery we ask the following: By following the tips below, deliveries and tank maintenance will occur without interruption:

Refrain from placing objects on propane tanks.
Distance animals from propane tanks (do not tie pets to propane tanks).
Maintain driveways and pathways by keeping the areas free of objects and snow.
Trim trees or foliage back so our technicians can safely maneuver the delivery truck when making a delivery