One thing will stop me dead in my tracks when I approach a house: the smell of gas.
There is no such thing as a “small gas leak”. Any natural gas or propane leak is an emergency to be addressed immediately. The vital thing is to leave the house without operating any electrical items. Don’t use anything that could create an ignition source. That means don’t turn lights on or off, don’t use the telephone, don’t operate any switches at all. Leave the house (don’t lock the door) and call for help from either a cell phone or a neighbor’s house.
Response time for leaks is usually very low; I’ve seen Washington Gas trucks show up within minutes. They know how dangerous these situations can be!
Did you know that what you smell really isn’t gas at all? Natural gas and propane are odorless. To alert you to leaks, an odorant called Mercaptan is added to the gas. It is important to teach your children about this odor; once you’re exposed to it you will remember it for a long time. We have a limited number of scratch and sniff cards that let you smell an example of the odorant, so you know what to be alert for. Contact us if you’d like to have one.
Here is a good educational video from Washington Gas that outlines the importance of safety awareness. Although they only address natural gas, the same care should be taken for propane.