Propane Safety Tips
The Basics Of Propane Safety from Pick Up Propane
- Check for leaks — buy a small spray bottle and keep a mixture of dish soap and water in the bottle. When you connect your tank to your grill and open the valve, spray the soap water on your tank connection and look for bubbling that indicates a leak. If you see bubbles increasing in size or quantity, you have a leak. Close the valve and check your connections. Don’t light your grill until your connection is leak-free.
- Propane GAS is FLAMMABLE — BBQ propane is stored as a liquid in 20lb cylinders (or BBQ tanks) for easy transportation. Liquid propane is stored under pressure and it vaporizes into a gas when released through the tank valve. Propane gas is flammable and leaking propane can cause a fire or explosion.
- Propane is odorized with an additive that smells like rotten eggs— propane is naturally odorless but the propane that you buy includes an additive that gives a distinct odor. If you detect leaking propane by smell, sound or sight, call your fire department. DO NOT ATTEMPT to find the source of the leak or repair malfunctioning equipment.
- Take precautions around propane— be safe—keep your BBQ propane cylinder service valves closed when the cylinder is not in use— even if the tank is empty! The presence of other strong odors may make it hard to detect the smell of propane. The use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs may prevent you from being able to properly smell propane. Allergies, sinus problems or colds may also impair your ability to smell propane. Handle and store your propane cylinders with proper caution!
- Propane is heavier than air— when liquid propane vents as a gas from a cylinder it will typically concentrate in low places before it naturally dissipates. Be aware that any concentration of propane gas in a low-lying area is a serious safety hazard. Keep your propane tank valves closed tight and plugged or capped.
- Liquid propane vaporizes at -44°—if your skin comes into contact with liquid propane it will instantly cause freeze burns. Always store propane tanks in an upright position to prevent liquid propane from escaping.
- Proper propane storage is temperature controlled. If you store propane tanks in a garage, carport or other space where the temperature can get high, there is a risk that the pressure relief valve may open. The pressure relief valve opening would allow propane to escape and create an immediate fire hazard. High temperature is not compatible with propane storage.
- Never allow children to play around propane. Teach propane safety to children— they should never tamper with propane tanks or propane-fueled cooking equipment.
- Read the safety manual for the devices you are using before you cook—take a moment to familiarize yourself with the safety features of your propane gas-fueled cooking equipment. Know how to safely connect, light, operate and shut down your equipment before you get started!
How To Safely Transport 20lb BBQ Propane Tanks
- Closed tight— your Pick Up Propane barbecue gas tank will come inspected, pre-filled and safety capped. Before you load a propane tank (empty or full) into your vehicle be certain that the valve is closed tight. Check your empty bottle for leaks before you transport it back to a Pick Up Propane retailer for a pre-filled replacement.
- Upright – Pick Up Propane cylinders are equipped with safety valves that operate properly when they are stored upright. Always transport your BBQ propane tank sitting on its foot.
- Secure— even an empty BBQ gas tank is a hazard if it tips over and rolls around in your vehicle. Use a safety strap or container to secure your tank so it cannot tip over during an abrupt stop or hard turn.
- No More Than Four— Never transport more than 4 BBQ gas cylinders inside an enclosed vehicle. You may carry more than four if you have them properly secured in the bed of a truck.
How to Use Your Gas Grill Safely
- Check for leaks— buy a small spray bottle and keep a mixture of a small amount of dish soap and water in the bottle. When you connect your tank to your grill and open the valve, spray the soap water on your tank connection and look for bubbling that indicates a leak. If you see bubbles increasing in size or quantity, you have a leak. Close the valve and check your connections. Don’t light your grill until your connection is leak-free.
- Know your grill— when it comes to getting great results and staying safe around your gas grill, there is no substitute for reading your owners manual. Study your owners manual for proper safety guidelines. If you can’t find your manual, search for the manufacturer on the Internet and download the manual. Make safety your first priority!
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby— if your grill flares up and you have to shut off your gas, you may still have to put out a fire. Have a handy extinguisher in the event your fire gets the best of your food. Keep in mind that the first step to eliminate the fire is to deny the oxygen (close the grill top) and the second is to deny the fuel (shut off the gas).
- Keep your cylinder valve closed when not in use – it is a very simple step in preventing accidents to shut off the gas supply on your grill or burner AND on your cylinder supply valve. Keep your tank plugged or capped when it is not connected to your grill. Remember that quick connect cylinder valves have two check valves so they do not require a plug but capping a quick connect cylinder will protect it from dust and moisture.
- Always use your cylinder in an upright position— your gas grill is designed to burn propane vapor, not liquid propane. If your propane tank is laying on it’s side liquid propane can escape from the cylinder valve. Liquid propane cannot escape from the valve of an upright propane tank.
- Never use a gas grill indoors— your gas grill is consuming oxygen and propane as it burns. The use of a propane gas grill, propane gas camp stove or propane gas burner indoors can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, asphyxiation and death. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and lethal. Do not use a propane gas grill indoors.
- Keep your gas grill away from your house— in the event that your grill suffers from a flare-up or a propane leak. You can’t imagine how quickly a small flare-up can lead to a big disaster when your grill is too close to a carport, home or shed.
- Keep your spare tank away from the grill – you may have a storage area underneath or beside your grill. Use if for cooking tools or whatever else suits you but never store an extra propane cylinder under or beside your grill.
- Safety check and clean your grill regularly — look at the entire grill from the ground up. Check for rust that could lead to a structural failure. Look at the condition of the hoses, burner assemblies and ignition system. Clean it out and replace the grills if necessary. Your grill can easily last twice as long if you spend two hours a year keeping it in top condition.
- Buy a quality cover for your grill— the corrosive impact of weather is as bad for your grill as the intense heat of your hottest fire. The low cost of a good cover will pay for itself many times over—especially if you invested in a quality gas grill!