BALTIC, SD (KCAU) – As the weather gets colder out, many people will start to turn their propane back on to heat their homes.
But if your heating system isn’t running properly, that could be a dangerous move.
“We always recommend having your heating system checked yearly,” said Paul Merriman, South Dakota Fire Marshal.
This helps save fuel, money and prevents breakdowns, but it also does protect your home.
If you run out of propane, gas it could cause additional stress to your appliances and gas system components.
Propane is different than natural gas.
“With this particular gas, it’s heavier than air. So then, it’s at the lower levels is where it will collect then. It’s a little different than natural gas,” said Michael Koppman, Baltic Volunteer Fire Department.
Propane has a distinct smell of rotten eggs and you must act quickly in that situation.
“If you smell propane, it’s best to act fast to minimize any risk of danger. We always recommend immediately extinguishing any smoking materials and open flames. Get everybody out of the area where you suspect the gas is leaking. And if safe to do so, turn off the gas supply valve of your propane tank,” said Merriman, South Dakota Fire Marshal.
If the gas does ignite, it is usually quick.
But it all depends on where the propane is located.
“If the gas is at the right levels, obviously you could have an ignition at that point. Which could be disastrous in some cases, depending on how much gas you got there. As soon as the gas is gone, it’s ignited and gone then it typically is out. Like I said, every one of them is a little different. It all depends on the container it’s in,” said Koopman, Baltic Volunteer Fire Department.