Monday, October 10, 2011
According to the Propane Education & Research Council, propane is used by more than 12.6 million U.S. households for space heating and other purposes.
The gas is virtually colorless and odorless in its natural state. An odorant is added to propane to make the gas have a distinct smell so that people can detect leaks.
"There are times, however, that there may be a slight odorant fade. It could be a number of reasons," said Greg Noll, executive vice president of the Propane Marketers Association of Kansas. "If there's concern about odor in the propane, whether or not it can be detected, the consumers or the customers can call their propane provider."
Propane leaks have been linked to several home explosions in Kansas. In 2009, a propane explosion damaged a home in Newton and killed a man from the burns. In 2008, another man died from a blast in Winfield.
State fire investigators said a possible leak may have contributed to the weekend home explosion near Cheney Lake.
"What can happen is certain instance that odor can be filtered out so then it doesn't have an odorant. We're wondering if that is not the case in this particular incident," said Brad Agnew, special agent with the Kansas State Fire Marshal.
The easiest way to detect a leak is by the very unpleasant odor.
Experts say if you smell that odor to extinguish all open flames, shut the gas off, get out of the house, and call your propane dealer, who has a leak detector.
"We always teach and advise our people, that attend our safety classes, always err on the side of safety. It's not worth taking the chance to go into a home that may have a gas leak," said Noll.
If you want more safety tips, visit the Propane Education & Research Council's website, by clicking here.