Safety Tips & Information

Keeping Your Home Warm

At United Oil Corporation, we believe in delivering the highest quality products and services, but we are also committed to keeping our customers educated and informed to ensure their safety. Below you will find important information regarding gas and propane, as well as tips for safety and preparedness.

Propane Gas in Columbia City, IN & Ney, OH | United Oil Corporation

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All About Propane

Propane Facts

  • Propane is a safe and widely used fuel. It is sometimes called liquefied petroleum gas, LP gas, or LPG.
  • Propane is transported and stored as a very cold liquid. It can cause a “freeze burn” of frostbite if it contacts the skin.
  • Propane is delivered to a home as a liquid and is pumped into the storage tank. The liquid changes to gas vapor before it leaves the tank.
  • Propane will not ignite when combined with air unless the source of ignition reaches 920 degrees.
  • Propane gas is non-toxic and produces minimal emissions.
  • Propane is not harmful to soil or groundwater.
  • Over 95% of the propane used in the United States is produced in North America.

What Does Propane Smell Like?

Propane smells like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal. Propane manufacturers add this smell to help alert customers to propane leaks. For an additional measure of security, consider purchasing a propane gas detector.

What to Do If You Smell Gas

1. Ensure There are 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 a fire.

2. Leave the Area Immediately

Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.

3. 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).

4. Report the Leak

From a neighbor’s home or other 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.

5. Do Not Return to the Building or Area

Until your propane retailer, emergency responder, or a qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so, do not return to the building.

6. 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.

Spring & Summer Storm Preparation


  • Make a list of instructions on how to turn off the electricity, propane, and water.
  • Consider installing carbon monoxide and propane gas detectors.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family in order to stay safe during a storm, power outage, or other emergency.


  • Use a portable generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
  • Use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in CO poisoning or death. These include outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators.
  • Store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
  • Use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.

Winter Storm Preparation

Important Steps to Take:

  • Mark your propane tank location with a flag, pole or stake that is higher than the average snow cover depth for your area.
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of propane in your tank. In the event of a storm, roads leading to your home might not be accessible for delivery.
  • Make a list of instructions on how to turn off the electricity, propane, and water.
  • Consider installing carbon monoxide and propane gas detectors.

Should You Stay or Go?

If a winter storm threatens your safety, you may have to decide whether or not to leave your home. Listen to a local television or radio station for information and instructions.

If you decide to stay:

  • Clear snow and ice from around your propane tank. If pipes freeze and crack, gas can leak out and create a potential danger.
  • Clear snow and ice away from all outdoor vents, chimneys, and flues. Whenever possible, use a broom instead of a shovel so you won’t damage your propane system.

Power Outages

In the Event of a Power Outage

If a power outage occurs, use a battery-powered radio to listen for instructions from local authorities. It is a good idea to turn off any lights and appliances that were operating before the outage occurred. This will reduce the risk of a power surge once the electricity returns.

During an extended power outage, you may choose to use a portable generator. However, NEVER use a portable generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.

After the Power Returns

If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply:

  • DO NOT use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician.
  • DO schedule a time for a qualified service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system. The technician can also perform a leak test on the system and relight your pilot lights.

Running Out of Gas

Why is Running Out of Gas Dangerous?

  • Air and moisture could get into an empty or depleted storage tank. This can cause rust build-up inside the tank. Rust can decrease the concentration of the odor of propane, making it harder to smell.
  • If your propane tank runs out of gas, any pilot lights on your appliances will go out. This can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly.

What to Do if You Run Out of Gas

In many states, a propane retailer or a qualified service technician must perform a leak check of your propane system before turning the gas back on.

Set Up Regular Delivery to Prevent Future Issues

Establish a regular delivery schedule with your propane retailer. Also, periodically check the fuel gauge on your propane tank. If the fuel level drops below 20%, call your propane retailer.

Additional Safety & Responsibility


Consumer Safety Message


Above-Ground Tank Ownership Responsibilities


Underground Tank Ownership Responsibilities

With divisions in Columbia City, IN and Ney, OH, we are dedicated to customers’ needs and safety. Contact us today!

United Oil Corporation

1609 US-30 BUS
Columbia City, IN 46725

Phone: 260-244-6000
Toll-Free: 888-843-2529

Business Hours:

Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

Ney Oil Company

145 S. Water Street
Ney, OH 43549

Phone: 419-658-2324
Toll-Free: 800-962-9839

Business Hours:

Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed