USE THE RIGHT KIND OF HEATER. Some propane space heaters are designed only for use outdoors. Others are designed only for use indoors. Check your owner’s manual or contact a qualified service technician to be sure you are using the right kind of heater.

DO NOT USE AN OUTDOOR HEATER INDOORS. High levels of CO can be generated from heaters that are not designed for indoor use. High levels of CO can make you dizzy, give you headaches, or cause flu-like symptoms. In extreme cases, extended exposure to CO can result in brain damage or death.

READ YOUR SPACE HEATER MANUAL. The appliance manufacturer’s manual that came with your space heater tells how to set up and operate it safely. Read the entire manual and carefully follow all directions

RECOGNIZING 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. TAKE THE SNIFF TEST. Teach everyone in your home or building what propane smells like. You can use the blue circle on the page opposite of the inside front cover. Or, ask your propane retailer for a demonstration

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 fade” can occur— an unintended reduction in the concentration of the odor of propane

ODOR FADE ODOR FADE ALSO CAN DIMINISH PROPANE’S SMELL. Odor fade is an unintended reduction in the concentration of the odor of propane, making it more difficult to smell. Although rare, several situations can cause odor fade:

• 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 fade or problems with your sense of smell, you should respond immediately to even a faint odor of gas. IF YOU ARE CONCERNED that you or others in your home may have difficulty smelling propane, consider buying one or more propane gas detectors.


• Propane gas detectors are designed to sound an alarm if they sense the presence of propane. Their operation does not depend on the concentration of odorant in the air, just the propane concentration at the detector.

• We recommend that you consider installing one or more propane gas detectors. This is important if you or others in your home have difficulty smelling propane, or if appliances are in little-used areas in your home where the smell of propane might not be detected. Detectors can provide an additional measure of security. DETECTOR QUALITY IS IMPORTANT. Be sure the units you buy are listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). To be sure propane gas detectors operate properly, install and maintain them as the manufacturer recommends. TRUST YOUR NOSE. Never ignore the smell of propane, even if no detector is sounding an alarm to signal the presence of propane. However, if a detector is sounding an alarm, treat it as an emergency and act immediately, even if you do not smell the propane. CHECK YOUR PROPANE SYSTEM. Even if you install gas detectors, have a qualified service technician inspect your propane system and propane appliances periodically

CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) AND YOUR SAFETY WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE? Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and toxic gas. Smoking a cigarette; idling a gasoline engine; and burning fuel oil, wood, kerosene, natural gas, and propane all produce CO. High levels of CO can be produced when fuels are burned incompletely.

WHERE DO HIGH LEVELS OF CO COME FROM? High levels of CO can be generated by appliances that are defective or improperly installed or maintained. CO can also enter a home if an appliance venting system or chimney becomes blocked (for example, by a bird’s nest).

CO CAN BE DEADLY! High levels of CO can make you dizzy, give you headaches, or cause flu-like symptoms (see the list below). In extreme cases, high levels of or extended exposure to CO can result in brain damage or death. Young children; the elderly; people with heart disease; and those under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication are particularly susceptible to CO poisoning.

CO DETECTORS CAN IMPROVE SAFETY. CO detectors are designed to sound an alarm when they sense excessive levels of CO in the air. We recommend that you consider installing a CO detector listed by UL on each level of your home. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance. These devices can provide an extra measure of safety.


1. If you or a family member shows physical symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the building and call 911 or your local fire department.

2. If it is safe to do so, open windows to allow entry of fresh air, and turn off any appliances you suspect may be releasing the CO.

3. If no one has physical symptoms of CO poisoning, but you suspect that CO is present, call your propane retailer or a qualified service technician to check CO levels and your propane equipment.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include:

• Headache

• Dizziness

• Fatigue

• Shortness of breath

• Nausea


• Have a qualified service technician check your propane appliances and venting systems annually, preferably before the heating season begins.

• Install UL-listed CO detectors on every level of your home.

• Never use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.

• Never use portable heaters indoors, unless they are designed and approved for indoor use.

• Never use a barbecue grill (propane or charcoal) indoors for cooking or heating.

• Regularly check your appliance exhaust vents for blockage.


• Sooting, especially on appliances and vents

• Unfamiliar or burning odor

• Increased moisture inside of windows