Direct Propane Services is dedicated to ensuring that your propane is delivered to you as safely as possible. However, as a propane user you must be aware of various safety procedures and understand the product so you know what steps to take when an issue arrives. The following is just a few safety tips and for more information please visit Propane 101 to become more familiar with propane.
Characteristics of Propane
- It is a widely used fuel, which is transported and stored as a liquid under pressure and is usually used as a gas.
- Propane can cause a severe freeze burn or frostbite can result if propane liquid comes in contact with your skin.
- Propane is turned into a gas inside a tank or a cylinder.
- In its natural form propane is colorless and odorless. Therefore, to make it distinctive manufacturers add a smell similar to rotten eggs or a dead animal.
- Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources, including open flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks, and static electricity.
- Propane vapors are heavier than air. This caused the vapors to accumulate in low-lying areas such as basements, crawl spaces, ditches or along floors.
- Always keep flammable and combustible materials away from any open flames that originate from your appliances.
- Know how to shut off the gas supply from your tank, meter or cylinder. If you don’t know contact Direct Propane Services for help or see instructions below:
- 1) To shut off the propane supply at the tank, turn the hand wheel clockwise (to the right) as far as possible to make sure the valve is completely closed. If you are not sure how to shut off the gas supply from your meter or tank contact Direct Propane Services or your propane company for instructions. A service technician or driver can show you how to turn the propane supply off at your next scheduled delivery or service inspection.
- 2) If you have a meter, turn the valve at the meter a quarter turn in either direction so that the lever is crosswise to the pipe to turn it off.
- Do not place your head near or directly over the valves on the tank. A sudden release of product from the relief valve could result in a serious injury.
- Do not store propane cylinders or containers inside any enclosed building.
- Do not ignore the smell of propane. Please take it seriously because it could be an indication of a dangerous situation.
- Never assume that propane odor is a result of your tank being empty. If the odor is continuous then there could be a serious leak.
- Contact Direct Propane Services or your regular company if the leak or smell of propane persists.
- Never modify or repair your propane system yourself. Ask Direct Propane Services or your propane company to send a trained technician to do the work.
- Any part of you propane system, including appliances, that is red tagged “out of service,” does not need to be used. The tag is there for your safety and indicates that there is a serious unsafe part of your system.
- Ask your propane provider to conduct a safety check to inspect your system for leaks and to ensure that it meets all applicable safety standards. The technician will also check your tank, piping, regulators, gauges, connectors, valves, vents, thermostats, pilots, burners and appliance controls to make sure they are in good working condition.
- We strongly recommend that you do not attempt to relight your appliances yourself. However, if you choose to assume the risk of relighting your pilots yourself, you must follow the appliance manufacturer recommendations and instructions.
- Notify your propane supplier immediately if you have a problem lighting a pilot.
- Never attempt to modify or repair the gas control valves or any other component of a gas appliance.
- Never light a pilot if you smell gas.
- If you continue to smell gas, even after lighting a pilot, turn off the gas valve immediately upstream of the appliance to stop the flow of gas. Contact your propane supplier immediately to investigate the situation.
- Propane burns with a blue flame in properly operating and converted appliances. If your appliances do not have a blue flame, if you see a yellow flame or if you find soot build up, you must contact your propane supplier.
- All appliances should be installed and converted by a licensed trained technician. If they are not, then it could cause many problems with the operation of your appliance.
- If there is an improper ventilation of an appliance then this could create a situation that could produce carbon monoxide gas, which is toxic and deadly.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) is colorless, odorless, and a hazardous gas. It is a natural by-product of combustion burning hydrocarbon fuels like natural gas and propane gas. Any gas burning appliance or equipment produces CO naturally. Properly adjusted appliances and equipment reduce the amount of CO produced. Proper ventilation carries the unsafe levels of CO the atmosphere where it naturally dilutes. To ensure your safety, have your appliances and venting checked regularly by a qualified technician. CO detectors are available at most hardware stores.
If the line is uncapped....
- Leaks that occur from uncapped lines are extremely dangerous due to the potential for a large volume of gas to be released over a short period of time.
If your pressure relief valve pops off...
- Propane expands when it is heated, which is why your propane supplier cannot fill your tank passed a certain percentage. When propane is heated, the pressure will increase and once a certain pressure is achieved, the relief valve opens to release a small amount of vapor. The release of pressure keeps the tank from building up too much pressure inside the tank. Once the excessive amount has been achieved, the relief valve closes automatically.
- Another safety precaution about relief valves, which is very important, is to keep your tank painted with a white, gray or reflective color. If the tank is not kept a reflective color or if there are any rust spots, the pressure could build up and result in the relief valve discharging.
- If your relief valve pops off or if there are problems with your relief valve, please call your propane supplier so they can determine the cause.
If you run out of propane....
- It can be hazardous to run out of propane, especially to your appliances and your propane system.
- A leak could occur when the system is recharged with propane.
- Your propane supplier will require a leak check for safety reasons.
- Periodically check your propane tank and establish a percentage that will let you know to call your propane supplier.
- The regulator is an important part of your propane system, if your regulator is old or is not working properly then it could cause other problems in your propane system.
- We recommend that the regulator be replaced every 15 years. It is your responsibility to call your propane supplier to have them come replace the regulator on your tank.
- The regulator is under a cover to protect it from weather and any other debris.
I smell propane gas, what do I do?
- Put out all smoking materials, open flames, and ignition sources
- Do not operate any switches, thermostat appliances, or phones.
- Get everyone out and away from the building and propane system.
- Shut off the gas supply using the valve located on the tank or at the meter, turn clockwise.
- Use your neighbor’s phone or a cell phone to call your local fire department and/or your gas supplier.
- Stay outside and leave the gas supply off until the leak has been located and repaired.
If you do not know how to read your gauge, it is important that you contact your propane provider or continue to read below.
The gauge is located under the dome lid of you propane tank with numbers from 5 to 95. This is not pounds or a pressure scale (your pressure scale reads from 0 to 300). The numbers are indications or the percent that your propane tank is on. The scale below will help guide you to know have much propane is in the tank.
Reminder: The gauge is a flotation device and is not completely accurate, it is there to help the customer manage their tank and prevent the tank from running out of propane.
Important Propane Safety Links
For more information, please visit the following propane safety links:
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