Why it is Important To Be Careful Around Propane

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Natural gas includes multiple types of gases, like ethanol, butane, methane, and propane. Propane is separated from the other gases and used for both commercial and residential purposes. It’s naturally colorless and odorless, which is why an odorant is added, allowing humans to detect it in case of a leak. 


Propane is pressurized into a liquid so that it can be transported and stored. Because of that, even a small discharge of the liquified gas can create a serious hazard of explosion or ignition. While it’s a widely used, cost-effective option for heating and other purposes, there are also many dangers to be cautious of as the harm it can cause include significant burns, potentially negatively impacting the rest of the injured’s life. 


There are some situations involving propane that can increase the dangers, such as the need to store large quantities in an outdoor tank near the home as well as transporting and delivering significant quantities into residential storage tanks. If gas service from the tank to the home needs to be shutdown, such as during a service call, it requires careful pressure testing and leak testing before it’s placed back into service. Failure or dysfunction can also occur if the tank becomes damaged, corroded, old, or freezes, which may result in unsafe pressure.


Generally, propane use is considered safe and your local propane supplier can help you understand all the important precautions for reducing risk, including these.

1. Don’t Store the Tank in a Garage or Shed

It’s important to store the tank in a place that won’t lead to a dangerous situation. For example, it should be in a shed or garage as simply starting your vehicle or a lawn mower could cause a spark that leads to an explosion. You’ll want to keep it outdoors under a waterproof cover.

2. Watch the Temperature 

As propane tanks are best stored outside, another concern is the temperature. If they’re allowed to reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the pressure will consistently reach levels that are too high which leads to propane leaks. Be sure that the tank is in a dry area with plenty of ventilation. If you live in an area subject to freezing temperatures, you’ll want it to be an area that gets some sunlight. 

3. Keep the Tank At Least 10 Feet Away From Anything Flammable

The propane tank should be at least 10 feet from anything with an open flame or an electric device to lower the risk of a spark igniting the propane in case there is a leak. 

4. Avoid Placing the Tank Near Vents and Windows

The tank shouldn’t be stored near a vent or window either. As propane gas is heavier than air a leak could cause it to seep into your home through the openings, no matter how small. That can lead to contamination that makes everyone inside ill or even create an explosion hazard if there is any kind of flame or spark ignited.

5. Have the Tank Serviced Regularly 

Regular maintenance and inspections on a propane tank are a must. Your propane supplier should inspect it and ensure that it is regularly maintained so that any issues can be fixed quickly. 






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