Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a non-toxic, colorless, and clean energy source. Propane tanks are usually made of carbon steel and has puncture resistance properties; that’s why their usage is a generally safe, effective, and affordable way to cook food, generate electricity, and provide heat at home. However, an improperly handled propane tank may pose safety hazards.
As a responsible homeowner, it’s essential to be aware of propane safety tips at home to ensure that your family is protected. Here are some of them:
Even though your Delaware Valley Propane tank is working properly, it’s important to let it be serviced periodically by your propane service provider. A lot of homeowners don’t see propane maintenance as an essential thing because of the additional cost. Before purchasing propane, make sure that the service provider offers a warranty or service agreement wherein they’ll conduct regular maintenance for free while you’re using the service.
There are a lot of propane providers that can give you peace of mind, ensuring that your tank and propane-powered appliances are always on the safe side. These companies can cater to all your propane needs. During inspection, tests for possible leaks are made, safety controls are checked, and possible corrective action plans are recommended. Don’t let the service provider leave without completing these.
Know the Warning Signs
There are signs that would tell if there’s a problem with your propane tank. As soon as you experience even a single warning sign, it’s important to treat it as urgent to prevent a much worse scenario. When your propane is in trouble, there may be an unpleasant smell like that of a rotten egg or decaying animal, the pilot light on your furnace won’t stay lit, and the flame is yellow-orange.
When you smell propane gas, there’s a possibility of a leak, or it’s an indication that your gas is running low. You may need to check the gas valve to see if it’s turned on. When you close the gas valve, it should no longer smell as long as there are no other tank issues. You also need to check if your propane needs a refill. You can tell when the tank is considerably lighter.
If your gauge shows that the gas level is low, or when the flame turns yellow or orange instead of blue, make sure that a new propane tank is ready. If your pilot light goes out with your multiple propane appliances, it could be an indication that the gas valve is loose or broken, or there’s low gas pressure. When you encounter these problems, you may need to contact your propane service provider to accurately check the issue and give you an effective remedy to keep you out of trouble.
In storing propane, make sure that it’s kept in a place with plenty of space, away from flammable materials such as textiles, paper, or anything that could ignite. If you only use it occasionally, it’s best to keep it outside, but make sure that it’s stored away from direct sunlight. Keep it in an upright position so that its valve won’t be compromised, leading to leakage. It has to be on a stable surface, too, to avoid knocking it down.
Before storing a propane tank, make sure that it’s in perfect condition. Avoid getting a tank that has peeling paint, dents, and rust because there are chances that the propane’s efficiency will be affected. Purchasing propane from a reputable gas provider also ensures that the product you’re getting is of high quality for long-term use.
Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Propane is highly flammable. When you have it at home, it’s important to know the smell of a leaking gas to be warned that there’s something wrong. The smell of propane is comparable to a skunk or rotten eggs. As soon as the smell spreads, it may lead to carbon monoxide poisoning that’s unsafe for the household and even fatal in worst cases. Not all propane leaks produce a smell though. It could be that the gas had just started to leak. That’s why it’s important to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
When you have a carbon monoxide detector installed, it will set off once the carbon monoxide reaches a certain level. If this happens, do some precautionary measures like check if the tank’s valve is turned off and avoid creating a flame or spark in the area. If you still smell carbon monoxide even though the tank is shut off, consider reporting it to professionals so that they can conduct inspections. The monoxide detector malfunctions at times, so it’s important to regularly check if it’s working properly.
Avoid Running Out of Gas
If your propane tank is connected to some of your home appliances, such as your water heaters, make sure not to run out of gas because it’s hazardous. When a pilot light goes out due to lack of gas, the gas valve that’s responsible for fueling up the pilot fame could still be pumping gas that may cause a buildup of air. The buildup of air in the tank may cause an explosion as soon as propane is refilled.
To avoid these hazards, don’t let your propane drop below 20%. Have some arrangements with your propane retailer for a scheduled supply of gas. You should be able to estimate how long it takes you to use up a tank.
As you fire up your propane appliances at home, it’s important to think about safety first. Being aware of these safety tips allows you to utilize propane efficiently. So, in using propane, be aware of warning signs that would show if your gas tank poses a problem, install carbon monoxide detectors, be open for regular inspections, keep a running supply of gas, and make sure to store it properly. These tips may just be simple, but they go a long way in keeping you and your family out of danger.