Home Safety Tips: Propane Safety Guidelines

We can all agree that propane gas is a cheap and efficient way to heat your home, cook, and generate energy. But did you realize that incorrectly handled propane can cost you your home or, worse, your life? To maintain safety, adhere to propane safety best practices and exercise caution when handling tanks, fuel lines, appliances, and generators. Propane, when used correctly, is a highly versatile and safe fuel.

How to Use Propane Safely

Follow these propane safety precautions to help protect you and your family and to reduce accidents or emergencies.

Maintain A Safe Distance

If you’re using residential propane to fuel grills, heaters, or fire pits, keep the propane 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 as a result of a leaking valve or relief valve release. Additionally, it is critical to keep propane-fueled equipment away from combustible materials such as fences, woodpiles, and vinyl siding. Never change propane cylinders within ten feet of an ignition source and keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

Monitor The Propane Levels In Your Tank

Tanks are topped off to a maximum of 80% to allow for gas expansion. When the tank level is extremely low, a very intense fragrance may be detected, which may be misinterpreted for a leak. However, what you are noticing is the odorant added to propane as a safety measure to give it the rotten egg smell that attracts your attention. 

 

With little to no propane remaining in the tank, the odorant falls to the bottom, leaving you with a greater quantity in relation to the propane. Avoid false alarms by keeping some propane in your tank at all times. An empty tank may also result in rust development, which is dangerous because rust covers the smell of propane, making it impossible to identify a suspected leak.

Utilize Safe Storage Techniques

When storing used propane cylinders, extreme caution must be exercised. This is true whether the tank or cylinder is full, partially full, or empty. Because, unless the vapor is entirely purified with air or nitrogen, propane cylinders will retain residue from prior contents, posing a fire hazard. Propane tanks and cylinders should never be kept indoors, this includes garages, storage sheds, marinas, and boats, among other places. Outside, store these carefully, or have the cylinders or tanks properly purged before storage.

Adhere to the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Installation of appliances must follow the manufacturer’s certified installation instructions and the CSA B149.1-15 Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code. For instance, operating instructions for portable propane gas appliances, such as barbecues, will specify the recommended distance between the unit and combustible surfaces. Ascertain that you are adhering to these guidelines. Call Go Greenway Oil Gas for more info. 

Keep Your Tanks In Good Condition

Every ten years, all propane cylinders must be recertified. Otherwise, they cannot be refilled. Check the cylinder’s date and condition. Before filling, have it inspected by your propane gas source if it is dented or rusted. When transferring your propane cylinder, always keep it secure, upright, and in a well-ventilated space. Bear in mind that propane has an odor similar to that of rotten eggs. If you suspect a propane leak, shut off the gas cylinder and service the grill or portable equipment before reusing. If the leak persists, call the fire department.

Conclusion

Proper use and handling are critical for the safety of all fuels. Propane’s properties, combined with rules governing equipment, training, storage, and handling, make it one of the safest consumer fuels. Simply follow the advice on this page to help safeguard you and your family and minimize accidents or emergencies.