What To Do If You Smell Gas
Winter Warmth And Safety
Heating Safely
Energy Efficiency Tips

Education Is the First Step in Practicing Propane Tank Safety

At Van Dyke Gas, your safety is our most important priority. We are committed to the safety of not only our employees that are out doing the work, but also the safety of our customers. Complying with regulations and ordinances throughout our operations is standard at Van Dyke Gas. We understand that knowing and following these tips and rules keeps your home and business safe.

Use the links below to learn more about propane tank safety, and more.


  • No Flames or Sparks – Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or fire.
  • Leave the Area Immediately – Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
  • Shut Off the Gas – Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
  • Report the Leak – From a nearby home or building away from the gas leak, call your propane retailer right away. If you can’t reach your propane retailer, call 911 or your local fire department.
  • Do Not Return to the Building – Do not return until your propane retailer determines it is safe to do so.
  • Get Your System Checked – Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.


Because of higher heating costs, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) expects increased use of supplemental heating sources (space heaters, wood stoves, etc.) especially during the winter. With increased use comes increased fire risk.

Most fireplace and chimney fires are caused by creosote build-up. The leading cause of space heater fires is combustibles too close to the heaters.

When properly installed and maintained, propane systems are among the safest heat sources anywhere. However, there are some basic safety measures you should take in the unlikely event you are experiencing difficulties with your heating system.

  • Keep or maintain a 36-inch clearance between space heaters and anything that can burn. Never store paints, thinners or other solvents near your furnace or water heater.
  • Have furnaces, wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, chimney connectors and all other heating equipment inspected annually by a professional and cleaned as often as inspectors suggest. Use only wood that is properly seasoned to reduce creosote build-up.
  • Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Allow fireplace and wood stove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Install all gas-fueled heating devices with proper attention to ventilation. NFPA codes prohibit use of liquefied petroleum gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies.
  • Install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Keep all-purpose fire extinguishers on each floor of your home. Check them regularly. Know how to use them.
  • Know the location of gas shutoff valves and how to use them.
  • Keep upstairs heating and return air duct openings clear.
  • Never hang things from gas pipes.
  • Teach your children what to do in case of an emergency.


If you ever have any questions about safety, we’re here to help. Please call Van Dyke Gas with any questions you may have.

  • Propane has a specially added odorant to alert you that it is present. If you ever smell propane in your home, shut off your tank immediately and call your propane provider.
  • Know how to shut off your propane tank.
  • Do not try to judge if a leak is serious or not. Any leak is serious.
  • A propane detector is a great idea, especially in homes of individuals with an impaired sense of smell (the elderly, smokers, etc.).
  • Propane is heavier than air, and thus settles in low-level areas, such as basements. Be aware of this if you do not frequently enter your basement.


Energy efficiency improvements pay off like never before. Small changes can have a big impact on improving your energy efficiency. The extra bonus? You’ll save money, too.

We’ve put together some tips to help you use energy more efficiently. Taking just one or two of these recommended steps can make a big difference in reducing your annual heating bill.

  • Invest in a thermostat timer that lowers your home’s temperature when you are not at home. You can cut your annual heating bills by as much as 10% a year by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours per day.
  • Protect against drafts by caulking and weather-stripping around windows, doors and other openings such as ductwork, fans and vents.
  • Install flow-restricting shower heads. You can reduce hot water usage by up to 50% without affecting shower pressure.
  • Consider switching to a propane water heater. Over time, propane water heaters can cost up to one-third less to operate and they recover hot water twice as quickly as electric water heaters.
  • Change or clean furnace filters monthly. Clean filters will increase the efficiency of your furnace. If you are on a monthly payment plan, use the receipt of your bill as a reminder.
  • Run washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers with a full load.
  • Turn down your water heater from the standard 120 degrees to 115 degrees. You can save more than 10% on your water heating bill.
  • Increase your water heater’s efficiency by draining it every six months to remove mineral deposits and sediments.
  • Replacing a heating system or water heater? Buy the most efficient model available. Energy savings over the life of the equipment will easily justify the higher initial cost.
  • Check your chimney and appliance vent systems at least once a year to ensure that all connections are secure.
  • Keep vents and air returns clear of obstructions such as furniture, lint, dust, or pet hair.