Facts About Propane

What Is Propane?

Propane plays an important role in our everyday lives. It is an efficient energy source for heating and cooking and is widely used in manufacturing and agriculture.

Propane is delivered by truck to tanks outside our homes and travels from the tank to our homes by underground pipes. Like any fuel, it must be handled and used with safety and care.

Propane is a liquid hydrocarbon that vaporizes into a colorless, odorless, highly flammable gas. In properly maintained and operated systems, propane is completely safe. However, it can be extremely dangerous if an uncontrolled release of propane occurs.

Propane is a safe and efficient fuel, but you do need to know the signs that there may be a problem, just in case there ever is one. To help homeowners detect an uncontrolled release or leak of propane, an odorant (ethyl mercaptan) is added. This odorant gives propane an unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. To learn more about propane safety and emergency procedures, please click here.

Is Propane An Eco-Friendly Fuel?

Propane is CLEAN & GREEN! Both the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 approve propane as a clean-burning alternative fuel. It’s nontoxic, doesn’t spill, and will not pollute groundwater, which makes it a safe fuel for underground storage. Additionally, propane’s carbon footprint is relatively small compared to other fuels and it produces less emissions.

Here Are Some Other Things You May Not Know About Propane:

  • According to the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), “approximately 90 percent of the United States’ propane supply is produced domestically, while 70 percent of the remaining supply is imported from Canada and Mexico.”
  • Propane was discovered in 1910 by Dr. Walter Snelling, a chemist. In two short years, development of propane products was underway. By the 1930s, propane associations were being formed. Propane continues to grow in usage and products.
  • Propane is used in numerous ways—for residential heating, vehicle fuel, generator fuel, pool heating, crop drying, fruit ripening, manufacturing plastic and more.
  • The Propane Education & Research Council states, “refueling a propane vehicle takes about the same time as refueling a gasoline vehicle. Propane is the only alternative fuel with fueling stations located in every state.” While it may not take much time to fill a tank, it is imperative that it be done by a trained technician. Propane safety is of the utmost importance to the propane industry.
  • This clean-burning fuel is ideal for any environment. Whether in the city, a rural area, camping, or traveling, propane provides a safe and environmentally friendly way to utilize energy.

It’s a good idea to have your propane system checked from time to time. If you’d like to schedule a System Security Check, give us a call at 802-459-3340. Don’t forget to check out our safety & emergency procedures and our tips on handling gas grill cylinders safely!


Of all the FAQs out there, the ones about safety and emergency procedures may be the most crucial. Take time to look them over!

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