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Propane safety

Propane is a safe fuel. It can be used for heating rooms and water; indoor and outdoor cooking; drying clothes; and heating pools and spas.

Like any other fuel gas, propane must be handled with care and can be dangerous if leaked or spilled. Propane has an added odour—a scent similar to rotten eggs or sulphur—so you can easily detect it. Propane is heavier than air, so when checking for leaks, be aware that it gathers in low-lying areas.​

What to do if you smell propane or hear escaping gas:

  • Don't smoke, light matches, operate electrical switches, use either cell phones or telephones, or create any other source of ignition. Leave the building immediately. Leave the door open and any windows that may already be open. Get to a nearby phone and call the FortisBC 24-hour Emergency Line at: 1-800-663-9911 or 911 or the fire department emergency number.

General safety reminders

  • Take smells seriously. Treat all propane gas odours seriously by calling us.
    Act fast. Get out and call FortisBC at 1-800-663-9911, or contact 911 or your local emergency number if you suspect a leak.
  • S​tore tanks outside. Always store propane cylinders outside in a well ventilated and secure location — never in an enclosed building.
  • Keep portable propane tanks away from electrical sources. If you have a portable propane tank, we strongly recommend storing it at least three metres away from electrical sources at all times. Propane is a relatively dense gas, so any potential discharge is likely to settle near the tank— so leaks too close to electrical sources, including an electric meter or exterior outlet, pose a fire risk.​
  • Keep your tank painted white, or another reflective colour. An unpainted or dark-coloured tank does not reflect sunlight and may absorb heat. This may cause an increase in pressure, leading to a possible discharge from the pressure-relief valve* - paint regularly to prevent this from happening.
          *Source:  Fire Prevention Officers Association 
  • Keep your head away from the valves on your tank or cylinder. A sudden release of propane liquid from the safety relief valve could result in serious injury.
  • Cap or plug NON-CONNECTED gas lines and valves. If you are not sure how to shut off the gas supply from your tank or cylinder, contact your propane supplier for instructions.