Propane gas is commonly used in homes for cooking, heating, and drying. Propane gas, although highly flammable, is safe to use as long as all the necessary safety devices are attached, such as a propane gas regulator. If you're going to use propane gas around your household, it is crucial to understand how to inspect, use, store, and transport your propane tanks properly to avoid a hazardous and potentially dangerous situation.
1. Inspect Propane Tanks Properly
Turn off the propane tank whenever it is not in use. Any flammable items must be kept away from your propane tank. You should disconnect appliances hooked to the propane tank as well and store them safely when not in use. Acquire a gas detector that you can use to detect carbon monoxide and propane leaks. Inspect your propane tank once a month for safety and maintenance.
If you detect a foul odor coming from the propane tank area, turn off the propane tank valve immediately and avoid lighting a match and or even turning off a light switch. Open all your doors and windows. If the foul odor starts to worsen, cover your propane tank with a wet cloth and contact your local fire department immediately. Stay outside your house while waiting for help.
2. Use Propane Tanks Properly
Every time you use a new propane tank, check for leaks immediately. You can do this by using a simple solution of soap or detergent mixed in water. Dip a washcloth on the soap or detergent solution, and then wipe the rubber tubing with the washcloth. If you see bubbles forming on the rubber tubing, then your rubber tubing is leaking.
Never attempt to patch a leaking rubber tubing. Instead, purchase a replacement. Always place your propane tank in an area that is well-ventilated. Always turn off your propane tank after you are done using it.
3. Store Propane Tanks Safely
Always store your propane tank outdoors. Never store your propane tanks in enclosed spaces, such as your garage or your basement. Always store the propane tank in an upright position and away from any source of heat and direct sunlight.
If you are using a propane tank that has been stored for a long time, always check for signs of wear and tear on the rubber tubing that connects the propane tank to your household appliances. Replace the old rubber tubing with new rubber tubing, which you can purchase at your local hardware store if there are signs of wear.
4. Transport Propane Tanks Properly
You should transport a propane tank in an upright standing position. Secure the propane tank with a rope. Do not use a metal chain to secure the propane tank because metal hitting metal can produce a spark, which could be disastrous if your propane tank is leaking. Keep your windows open when you have the tank in your car as a safety measure. Also, the valve of the tank must be locked and covered with a dust cap. Tanks that need refills should be taken to the filling stations.
These four general propane tank safety tips will help protect you and your family. Keep the grilling going!