We can all agree that propane gas is an affordable and efficient method of heating your home, cooking, and generating energy. However, were you aware that improper propane handling might result in the loss of your property or, in the worst-case scenario, your life? Follow propane safety best practices and caution when working with tanks, fuel lines, appliances, and generators. Propane is a highly adaptable and safe fuel when utilized properly.
How to Use Propane Safely
Adhere to these propane safety rules to help protect you and your family and to minimize the likelihood of accidents or emergencies.
Maintain A Safe Distance
If you’re using propane to fuel barbecues, heaters, or fire pits, keep the propane cylinder at least three feet from the building’s opening and ten feet from any mechanical air intakes. This helps prevent the entry of propane vapor into the building as a result of a leaking valve or relief valve release. Additionally, propane-fueled equipment should be kept away from combustible materials, including fences, woodpiles, and vinyl siding. Never change propane cylinders within ten feet of an ignition source and always carry a fire extinguisher.
Monitor The Propane Levels In Your Tank
To allow for gas expansion, tanks should be topped off to a maximum of 80%. When the tank level is dangerously low, a powerful scent may be detected, which may be mistaken for a leak. However, what you are smelling is the odorant put to propane as a precautionary measure to give it the rotten egg smell that grabs your attention. When there is little or no propane remaining in the tank, the odorant sinks to the bottom, leaving a higher quantity in ratio to the propane. Keep some propane in your tank at all times to avoid false alarms.
An empty tank may also result in rust formation, which is harmful because rust masks the smell of propane, making a suspected leak impossible to diagnose.
Utilize Safe Storage Techniques
Excessive caution must be given when storing used propane cylinders. This holds true regardless of whether the tank or cylinder is fully charged, partially charged, or completely depleted. Because propane cylinders retain residue from previous contents unless the vapor is completely cleansed with air or nitrogen, they pose a fire hazard. The indoor storage of propane tanks and cylinders is prohibited. Store outside or have the cylinders or tanks fully purged before storage.
Adhere to the Manufacturer’s Instructions
The manufacturer’s certified installation instructions and the CSA B149.1-15 Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code must be followed when installing appliances. For example, operating instructions for portable propane or Oil gas appliances, such as barbecues, will mention the recommended separation distance between the device and combustible surfaces. Ascertain that you are following these instructions.
Keep Your Tanks In Good Condition
Each cylinder of propane must be recertified every ten years. They cannot be replenished in any other way. Verify the date and condition of the cylinder. Before filling, have your propane gas source inspect it for damaged or rusty areas. Always store your propane cylinder securely, upright, and in a well-ventilated area when transporting it. Bear in mind that propane has a rotten egg odor. If there is a possibility of a propane leak, turn off the gas cylinder and service the grill or portable equipment before reusing. Make a call to the fire department if the leak continues.
All fuels must be used and handled safely. Propane’s qualities, in combination with regulations governing equipment, training, storage, and handling, make it one of the safest consumer fuels available. Follow the suggestions on this page to safeguard you and your family and mitigate the effects of accidents or emergencies.