What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!

Your gas control and pilot light system has a safety device whose purpose is to shut-off the gas supply to the appliance if the pilot light goes out. If you have trouble lighting the pilot or keeping it lit, it may mean that this safety device is warning you that there is a problem with your system. Inspection and repairs or replacement must be made by a trained gas service technician.

  • If you smell gas, DO NOT attempt to light your appliance.
  • DO NOT touch electrical switches, or use any phone in your building.
  • Leave the building and call your gas supplier, from a safe location. If you cannot reach your gas supplier call the Fire Dept.
  • Turn gas supply off at tank
  • Never tamper with or use force or tools on the gas control system. If the gas control knob will not operate by hand, the control must be replaced. Repairs must be made only by a trained gas service technician.

Tampering is Dangerous!

The pilot safety system may also not work if you do not follow the lighting instructions carefully or if you tamper with the gas control, particularly with tools, can damage the safety mechanism in the control and can allow gas to leak. This can result in a fire or explosion causing property damage, personal injury or death.


  • Your gas has been odorize so that you can smell it. Always smell around for gas before lighting your appliance.

  • Sniff for LP-gas at floor level. LP-gas is heavier than air and may temporarily exist at floor level.

  • If you smell gas, do not attempt to light the pilot. Do not cause a spark by turning on or off electrical switches or appliances or by using any phone in the residence. Turn off the gas to the appliances and call your gas supplier from another location.
  • If your gas control has gotten wet as the result of flooding or other wetting, it must be replaced immediately by a trained gas service technician. Water can lead to damage of the internal safety mechanism in the gas control and can create a hazardous condition.


How to recognize the smell of propane

Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. Propane manufacturers add the smell deliberately to help alert customers to propane leaks, which can create a safety hazard.  Simply ask us for a demonstration of the smell of propane if interested.


Can you smell it?

  • It may be hard for some people to smell propane for the following reasons:
  • They have a cold, allergies, sinus congestion, or another medical condition.
  • Their sense of smell is reduced due to use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.
  • Tobacco smoke, cooking odors, and other strong odors can mask the smell of propane.
  • As people age, their sense of smell can become less sensitive.
  • If the smell of propane is present in the air over a period of time, “odor fatigue” can occur. The nose “gets tired,” and a person no longer smells the propane odor.
  • The propane smell may not be strong enough to wake up someone who is sleeping.
  • The propane smell may be in a location (basement or attic) where it is not detected by people in other areas of the building.
  • A phenomenon called “odor loss” can occur—an unintended reduction in the concentration of the odor of propane

    What is odor loss?


    Odor Loss. On rare occasions, propane can lose its odor. Several things can cause this including:

    • Air, water, or rust in a propane tank or cylinder can reduce propane odor concentration.
    • If the propane is leaking underground, its passage through soil may reduce the smell of propane.
    • The propane odor may stick to the inside surfaces of gas piping and distribution systems and possibly other materials.

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

    In addition, call your propane supplier immediately if you think that you smell propane gas.