Propane is a safe, environmentally friendly, and economical source of energy. Propane can be used throughout your home to heat rooms and water, cook indoors and out, dry clothes and heat pools and spas. Like other household and industrial products, propane can be dangerous if handled incorrectly. This propane safety information covers some basic practices to ensure your family's safe enjoyment of propane equipment.
- How to light a pilot?
- General Safety
- Uncapped Lines
- Regulator Safety & Safety Relief Valves
- How to read your tank gauge
- Propane System Maintenance
- Appliance Safety
- Weather Emergencies
- Gas Grilling Safety Tips
- What to do if you smell gas
Lighting Pilots On Appliances
- Notify your propane supplier immediately if you have a problem lighting a pilot.
- Never attempt to modify or repair the gas control valves or any other component of a gas appliance.
- Never light a pilot if you smell gas.
- If you continue to smell gas, even after lighting a pilot, turn off the gas valve immediately upstream of the appliance to stop the flow of gas. Contact your propane supplier immediately to investigate the situation.
- In most situations it is best to have a trained technician light the pilots on your appliances.
- Always keep flammable and combustible materials (e.g., paper, clothing, wood, gasoline, solvents) away from any open flames that originate from your appliances.
- Know how to shut off the gas supply from your tank or cylinder. If you do not know how, contact your propane supplier for instructions.
- Never place your head near or directly over the valves on your storage tank. A sudden release of product from the safety relief valve could result in serious injury.
- The propane liquid that is stored in your tank or cylinder can cause severe frostbite if it comes in contact with your skin or eyes.
- Never store propane cylinders or containers inside any enclosed building.
- Treat all propane gas odors seriously. Any odors mayindicate a very dangerous situation.
- Never assume that propane odor is only the result of your tank being near empty. If the odor persists, you may have a serious leak.
- You should always contact your local propane supplier if you suspect a leak.
Leaks that occur from open lines are extremely dangerous due to the potential for a large volume of gas to be released over a short period of time.
All lines not attached to appliances must be closed and terminated with threaded caps or plugs. If you have any questions, please call your propane supplier.
Regulator Safety & Safety Relief Valves
The regulator is an important part of your propane system. If it is more than 15 years old, ask your propane supplier if it should be replaced.
What to do if your safety relief valve pops off?
- Propane expands when heated. That increases the pressure in the tank. Above a certain pressure, the relief valve opens to release a small amount of vapor. That release keeps the pressure from building up too much inside the tank. Once excess pressure has been released, the relief valve closes automatically.
- It’s important to keep your tank painted with a white, aluminum or other reflective color. A rusty, unpainted or dark-colored tank may cause pressure build-up resulting 0in a safety relief valve discharge.
- Call your propane marketer whenever your relief valve pops off, so they can determine the cause.
How to read your tank gauge
If you are not sure how to read your gauge, contact your propane supplier for help. Look at the gauge attached to the tank with numbers from 5 to 95. (Don’t be confused by the pressure scale with numbers from 0 to 300) Numbers indicate the percentage of gas in the tank.
The following chart gives a general idea on how much propane your tank may have
Propane System Maintenance
- Never modify or repair your propane system. Ask your propane supplier to send a trained technician to do the work.
- If an appliance or any other component of your propane system has been tagged out-of-service, do not attempt to enable it. The tag indicates a serious unsafe condition.
- If an appliance has been added to or removed from your system, contact your supplier so that a technician can perform a required leak test.
- Ask your propane supplier to conduct a regular gas safety check to inspect your system for leaks and ensure it meets all applicable safety standards. The technician will also check your tank, piping, regulators, gauges, connectors, valves, vents, thermostats, pilots, burners and appliance controls to make sure they are in good working condition.
- All appliances should be installed and repaired only by qualified technicians. Improper ventilation can starve the combustion process in the appliance and create a situation that could produce toxic carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that, in sufficient amounts, may be deadly to humans. Usually, headaches and/or flu-like systems are initial signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you suspect that any of your appliances have been improperly vented, you should discontinue using them and contact your propane supplier or local fire department immediately for an inspection.
- An appliance gas control is a precision mechanism that may malfunction if it is exposed to water from flooding, storms, or any other damaging environments. A flooded gas control must be replaced by a qualified gas appliance technician. Damaged gas control valves must be replaced.
Take these steps to protect your family and property before and after a flood or severe storm. Getting ready for a flood or severestorm:
- Properly secure the propane tank, if possible.
- Turn off the gas supply valve at the tank.
- Fasten the protective dome on the tank.
- Turn off appliance pilot lights, control valves and manual shut-off valves.
- Ensure there is an adequate supply of fuel in the tank.
After the flood or storm has passed, look for visible structural damage, including damaged external venting and vent caps. Call your propane dealer or a qualified technician if:
- You smell propane gas.
- Your propane tank has shifted or moved.
- The tank regulator has been exposed to water.
- The gas lines are broken, bent, damaged or have pulled away from the propane tank or appliances.
- Propane appliances or their controls have been exposed to water.
Gas Grilling Safety Tips
- Always follow grill manufacturer's instructions and keep written materials accessible.
- When lighting a grill, make sure grill top is open.
- Always use or store cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position.
- When the cylinder is refilled, have the supplier check for dents, damage, rust, or leaks.
- Before connecting or lighting a propane gas grill, use a leak-detection solution to check connections for tightness. Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks. Your propane gas supplier has leak-detection solutions and instructions.
- After filling or exchanging, take the cylinder home immediately. Keep the vehicle ventilated and the cylinder valve closed and capped.
- If there is an uncontrollable release of gas, call the fire department.
- Do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.
- Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
What to do if you smell gas
If you think you smell propane in your home, camper, RV or the area around any gas equipment, or if a gas alarm signals the presence of propane, you should IMMEDIATELY follow these suggestions:
- Extinguish all smoking materials and any other open flames or sources of ignition.
- Evacuate the building immediately.
- Do not use any electric switches, appliances, thermostats, or telephones.
- Close the gas shutoff valve on the propane tank or cylinder.
- Call your propane supplier and/or your local fire department from a different location.
- Even if you do not continue to smell propane, do not open or turn on the propane supply valve. Do not re-enter the building, vehicle or area. Let a qualified propane service technician and/or emergency personnel check for escaped propane.
- Have a properly trained propane service technician repair the leak. The propane service technician or emergency responder needs to determine that the leak situation has been fully resolved. The propane service technician should check all of your gas appliances and re-light any appliance pilots.
- Return to the building, camper, RV or area only when the service or emergency technician indicates it is safe to do so.
Find out more about using propane safely at Usepropane.com