Propane can be dangerous. When proper handling and safety techniques are not followed, you can risk injury and even death.
Using Propane Safely
Keep you and your family safe around propane by being aware of these propane hazards and best practices:
- Never try to fix it yourself. Always call in an expert.
- A permit is required for all new gas installations and changes to existing gas lines or gas equipment. Only licensed gas contractors may request a permit.
- Check all propane heating equipment and appliances inside and outside your home to ensure they are working properly.
- When your propane tank is turned on, ensure the valve is fully open.
- Do not use cylinders that have been exposed to fire, are leaking or appear to be damaged (corroded, bulging, gouged or excessively rusted). Check hosts and O-rings for cracks or other signs of wear and replace them if they're damaged.
- Cylinders must be inspected and re-qualified every 10 years. Never refill a cylinder that requires inspection.
- Never use or store cylinders indoors or in any enclosed structure.
- Always position cylinders so the valve/hose connections do not cause sharp bends in the hose.
- Never smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
- During the winter be sure to:
- Keep your tank at least one-third full to ensure propane is supplied to your equipment and vaporizes properly.
- Clear snow from around large tanks. This allows proper vaporization and access
- Regularly check connections for any leaks.
Propane suppliers are required to add an odour into the gas to help you know when there is a leak. Many say the smell is similar to boiled cabbage. If there's a propane leak, you need to turn off the gas right away.
Even if you don't smell anything funny, you should still check for leaks regularly.
Steps to check for leaks:
- Brush soapy water onto the connections.
- Turn on the gas.
- If bubbles appear around connections, or you smell propane, turn off the gas and tighten the connections.
- Repeat the test.
- If the bubbles and/or the smell continue, shut off the valve and don’t try to fix it yourself. Call a qualified propane dealer to inspect and fix your equipment.