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.