We can all agree that propane gas is a low-cost, energy-efficient option to heat your home, cook, and generate electricity. But did you know that mishandling propane can cost you your home or, worse, your life? Adhere to propane safety best practices and use caution when handling tanks, fuel lines, appliances, and generators to ensure your safety. Propane is a highly versatile and safe fuel when utilized correctly.
How to Use Propane Safely
Follow these residential propane safety precautions to help safeguard you and your family, as well as to avoid accidents and emergencies.
Maintain A Safe Distance
If you use Propane to power barbecues, heaters, or fire pits, keep the cylinder at least three feet away from the building’s opening and ten feet away from a mechanical air intake. This prevents propane vapor from entering the building due to a leaking valve or the release of a relief valve. Furthermore, propane-powered equipment must be kept away from combustible materials such as fences, woodpiles, and vinyl siding. Never change propane cylinders within ten feet of an ignition source, and always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Monitor The Propane Levels In Your Tank
Tanks are charged to a maximum of 80% to allow for gas growth. When the tank level is extremely low, a strong odor may be detected, misunderstood as a leak. However, what you are noticing is the odorant added to Propane as a safety precaution to give it the rotten egg smell that draws your attention.
When there is little to no propane left in the tank, the odorant settles to the bottom, leaving you with a larger quantity than the Propane. Keep some propane in your tank at all times to avoid false alarms. An empty tank can also cause rust to form, which is problematic because rust masks the scent of Propane, making it impossible to detect a leak.
Utilize Safe Storage Techniques
Extreme caution must be maintained when storing used propane cylinders. This is true regardless of whether the tank or cylinder is full, partially full, or empty. Because, unless completely cleansed with air or nitrogen, propane cylinders retain residue from previous contents, providing a fire hazard. Propane tanks and cylinders should never be kept indoors, including garages, storage buildings, marinas, and boats. Store these outside with caution, or have the cylinders or tanks thoroughly purged before storage.
Adhere to the Manufacturer’s Instructions
According to the manufacturer’s certified installation instructions, Appliances must be connected and the CSA B149.1-15 Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code. For example, the recommended distance between a portable propane gas appliance and combustible surfaces will be included in the operating instructions for a BBQ. Check to see if you’re following the rules. Contact Go Greenway for more information.
Keep Your Tanks In Good Condition
All propane cylinders must be recertified every ten years. They cannot be refilled otherwise. Examine the cylinder’s age and condition. If it is dented or rusty, get it inspected by your propane gas supplier before filling. Always keep your propane cylinder secure, upright, and in a well-ventilated space when transferring it. Remember that Propane has a stench comparable to rotting eggs. If you detect a propane leak, turn off the gas and service the grill or portable equipment before reusing it. If the leak continues, contact the fire department.
All fuels must be used and handled correctly to ensure their safety. Propane’s qualities, combined with regulations governing equipment, training, storage, and handling, make it one of the most secure consumer fuels. Follow the recommendations on this page to help protect you and your family and reduce the likelihood of accidents or crises.