Propane can be a great way to heat your home and fuel your grill or generator. However, it's a good idea to be aware of the following tips so that you and your family remain safe when using this gas.
Keep an Eye on the Tank
One of the most important things you can do to ensure you're safe when using propane is to regularly monitor the condition of the propane tank, especially after storms and periods of high winds. Check the pressure relief valve to make sure it is closed and therefore not releasing propane into the air, for example. Look for rust on the tank, which may mean that you need to have it replaced. If you see anything that seems strange, contact the propane company.
Know Signs of a Propane Leak
To stay safe when using propane, you need to know some signs of a propane leak. For instance, while propane is naturally odorless, propane vendors typically use an additive to give propane an odor that is like rotting eggs. If you aren't sure what that smells like, wait until your next propane delivery; your delivery man can help you identify the scent.
Propane leaks might also cause you and other family members to exhibit physical reactions. Some things you might experience are:
- Sudden headache
Should anyone experience any of the above symptoms, get out of the house immediately.
Don't Let the Tank Get Empty
When a propane tank is left empty for a long period, air and moisture can cause rusting on the inside of the tank. That may make it harder to smell leaks. Be sure to fill an empty tank with some propane as soon as you can.
Store Extra Tanks Properly
If you have extra propane tanks on your property, don't keep them right next to the house. Should the tanks leak and they are too close to your home, propane gas may enter cracks in your wall and float into open windows. Instead, put the tanks in a well-ventilated area some distance away from your living quarters.
It is also a good idea to put the tanks on a flat surface so they won't tip over. Preferably, you will not put the tanks on grass, as dew and moisture could cause the tanks to rust.
You also need to make sure that extra tanks aren't left sitting in the sun; the heat may cause pressure relief valves to open, which could result in leaking propane.
Use the tips in this article to help you and your family remain safe when you use propane for your home. If you want help assessing the condition of your tanks or think there is a problem, contact your propane company.