Propane gas is a useful tool when it comes to heating your property, boiling water, and providing fuel for cooking. It is essential for running several types of outdoor furniture and offers a cheap and reliable source of fuel.
However, when propane gas is handled incorrectly, the consequences can be disastrous. Because it is a liquefied petroleum product, it is highly flammable and must be handled with care to prevent fires, injuries and property damage.
Here is the rundown on what to know about propane safety and five tips to prevent injury or damage as the result of handling propane cylinders.
Store in a Well-Ventilated Area
Whenever you are storing or handling propane, it should be done so in a well-ventilated area. Inhaling propane leads to sickness and its odorless, colorless properties makes it difficult to detect a propane leak.
While there is an odor added to commercially sold propane, it is advisable to work with propane in an open space to minimize risks.
Secure Propane Tanks While Transporting Them
Whenever you are transporting propane tanks they should be secured in a way it is unable to fall or roll. If the cylinder has the freedom to move or fall, it could spring a leak, which would see highly flammable gas enter the environment which poses a significant risk for injury. Also, if you are taking two or more cylinders refilling, make sure the propane company has a facility for forklift cylinder filling, that can ensure that it can be moved around easily and securely.
Don’t Store in Direct Sunlight
The pressured containers propane comes in are designed to avoid accidents. This is why, when the pressure becomes too great, rather than explode, the cylinder’s pressure release valve will release propane.
If your cylinder is stored in direct sunlight or near a heat source, the warmth will cause a pressure build-up in the cylinder. In the best-case scenario, this will cause a small propane leak, in the worst-case scenario, it could lead to a flash fire or explosion.
The mechanisms designed to regulate the propane cylinder can easily catch your fingers and hands in the moving parts. To avoid pinching and trapped fingers, wear gloves whenever you are handling propane cylinders and attaching the gas to your appliances.
The cylinder design usually has threaded components, couple that with the installation which often occurs in circumstances where visibility is obscured, and many homeowners are forced to install by “feeling” and you have a recipe for trapped fingers.
Keep Cylinders Away from Flames and Ignition Sources
Under no circumstances should a propane cylinder be stored or held near a naked flame or ignition source at any time.
This includes spare propane cylinders. If you intend to have a spare propane tank for your BBQ, which you can set up with the help of experts from service providers similar to Kelly Propane and Fuel LLC, keep it under or next to the appliance in case there is a leak, which would turn the BBQ’s ignition source into a potential hazard for an explosion.
By following these five safety tips for avoiding accidents when handling and storing propane, you can minimize the risks involved in using this valuable fuel source. If you are still concerned about the risks associated with using propane, you may benefit from installing a propane gas detector which will immediately alert you to any gas leak and allow you to take the appropriate precautions.