Propane 101

  • Propane is also commonly referred to as LP gas which stands for liquefied petroleum.
  • Propane is transported and stored in liquid form.
  • It is stored at a very cold temperature and if it comes in contact with skin it can cause frostbite.
  • When using propane in your home, the liquid turns into a vapor.
  • A chemical is added to propane, so that you are able to smell it and can identify a leak. The smell is commonly described as a “rotten egg” smell.
  • Natural propane is colorless and odorless.
  • When oxygen is mixed with propane, it becomes flammable.
  • Propane is heavier than air so keep in mind it will accumulate in low laying areas.


Pilot Light ­Safety

This is a small constantly burning flame inside many propane appliances. The pilot light’s function is to ignite the main burner when needed.

When the pilot light goes out repeatedly or you’re consistently having trouble lighting, this could be an indicator of a problem. Typically this would be signaling an issue either with the appliance itself or your propane system. Do not try to fix this issue yourself. We suggest calling your local Como office and we can send a service technician out to evaluate the problem. Injuries and accidents can occur when you try to fix these issues without the help of a professional.

  • DO NOT have any source of ignition in the immediate area before lighting the pilot.
  • SNIFF at floor level for any propane or fuel smell before lighting pilot.
  • Only light pilot in an area where it is easy to smell a possible propane leak. If you are in an area where it may be difficult to smell propane, do not light pilot.
  • Avoid having any extra people, especially children, in the area when you are lighting a pilot light.
  • Damp or musty smells can inhibit your ability to smell propane, so do not light.
  • Applying pressure or the misuse of tools on pilot lights can lead to damages or a gas leak. Only use your hands when handling the knobs, switches, or buttons.
  • DO NOT attempt to let air out of gas lines. When doing this, you could let out gas that would be difficult to smell.
  • DO NOT apply oil to knobs or buttons because it could cause them to stick or malfunction.


What To Do If You Run Out Of Gas

Why is it dangerous to run out of gas? Not only is it an inconvenience to yourself and your business, but it can be a serious safety hazard. Fires and explosions could result.

  1. When you run out of gas and the appliance valve or gas line is left on, a leak could occur. This would not be detected until the system is recharged with propane.
  2. Air or moisture that gets into an empty tank can cause rust build up inside the tank. Rust decreases the concentration of the odor of the propane making it harder to smell. This is a huge safety risk.
  3. When gas goes out, the pilot lights go out on your propane appliances. When this happens, if it is not handled properly, it can create a dangerous situation.
  4. EVERY TIME you run out gas, a leak check must be performed by a qualified service technician, which is an added expense for customers.
  5. To avoid this we highly recommend all customers be on our automatic delivery schedule. Please contact your local Como office if you would like to switch your account to an automatic dispatch. Also, it is good to get in the habit of checking your tank’s gauge regularly. If it drops below 20%, call us right away to schedule a delivery.


What To Do If You Smell Gas

  1. Immediately put out ALL smoking materials and open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. These sources can trigger an explosion or fire.
  2. LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! Everyone inside the building or area should evacuate.
  3. If it is safe to do so, shut off the gas. Turn off the main gas supply by turning the shut off valve on your tank to the right (clockwise).
  4. Report the leak to your local Como office, but do so from your neighbors or another nearby building. If you need immediate assistance, call 911 or your local fire department.
  5. Do not return to the building or area until a Como employee or local fire official determines it is safe to do so.
  6. Prior to using any propane appliances you need to get your system checked by a qualified service technician.